Well? Do they? Does it matter WHY we do what we do, say what we say, and write what we write? I mean, give a hungry man a meal, and you've done a good deed. He's happy. He doesn't care that you did it to show off, or to get brownie points in heaven? His hunger is appeased....he's glad. Shouldn't that be all that matters?
You give a gift...the recipient is thrilled. Is it a show of love, or a way to earn love? Does it matter?
You post a comment on a poem...the poet is thrilled! Is it to show how talented he/she is or how caring you are? Does it matter?
Why do we do the things we do? Well, will we ever know? NO. Should we second guess? Well...these aren't rhetorical questions. What do you think?
Motives count. That's my opinion. If my heart tells me something isn't genuine....I'm cautious. I accept the gift, graciously, but keep my heart safe until I've learned to trust the giver/doer. Is that wrong?
Then again, at times, we are encouraged to do things for others, even if our motives aren't in the right place...hoping, the motives will come along eventually. We help because it's expected. We visit to reciprocate. We give, because we have been given. Are the motives always based on those finner values like love, compassion, and empathy? No, but iff we wait for our motives to be in the right place for every single thing in life, hardly anything will ever get done! We strive to be genuine, and if we aren't there yet, we do what's right and hope it's a blessing.
One little note...motives matter to God. Sometimes prayers don't get answered because the motives of our hearts in asking aren't what they should be.
James 4: 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.
Motives matter to God. Just saying.