Various motivations, desires and goals: these things are good by Creation, perverted by Fallenness. They make good goods, but make bad gods. A common sense way of saying this is “Live for the Giver, and not the gifts.” The minute you live for the gifts, everything goes dark and becomes sour.
If you live to have friends, you become manipulative, fearful, always taking things personally, your skin is too thin, you lack the ability to forgive, and feel frightened or hostile socially. If you live for the Giver, it implies the priority of my life being increasingly mastered by the vertical/horizontal will of God: to love God and then to love people. And there’s this logic that makes the golden rule make utter good sense. You can only live the golden rule if you aren’t ruled by, “I need to have them treat me a certain way.” If I’m not ruled by that, I’m free to love them. If they treat me that way back, life is very very sweet and it’s such a pleasure to have genuine friends. If they don’t treat me that way, life is painful and I’m called now to forgive, love, and endure in the face of enemies. The whole Christian life hinges on properly ordering and understanding the relationship between Creation and Fall–a biblical view of motivation.
-Dr. David Powlison, Theology and Secular Psychology