A few days ago this popped up as a Facebook memory and it prompted more thought:
"What is your motivation for your struggle for holiness?
"If I do things around the house like clean up, do the dishes, or laundry because of fear that if I don't my wife will go bananas and yell at me, how much joy do I find in doing those things? However, if I do the very same things out of love for her and out of a desire to serve her and for her joy, then how much joy do I find in doing those things?
"It is the same way with God. If my motivation for holiness is fear, then there we find no joy. If our motivation is love, then in that we find infinite joy."
It is very easy to supplant the true motive and purpose behind a pursuit of holiness with something so near to reality the idolatry is often unnoticed. The most immediate purpose is the life-long transformation into the image of the One by whose stripes we are healed, to live out the practical reflection of His positional declaration of holiness made over us in His sacrifice.
If we reduce our daily pursuit of the holiness of God to the increase of our attractiveness to the world that they may attend our gatherings or think more highly of our walk, we have so miserably missed the point I fear its true intent may wholly escape us.
While space in this post would be insufficient for a theological treatise on the pursuit of holiness, suffice it to say the chief motivation of our pursuit is the transformation into His image and the chief benefit that the world would fall in love with Him, not us.