Rebecca Motte’s name may not sound familiar to you, but she holds my respect. She was a wealthy widow with a large estate on the Congaree River in South Carolina whose fierce loyalty to her country served to inspire the Patriot army during the Revolutionary War.
In 1781 the British set up camp there; 175 soldiers took residence in her home and surrounded it with a trench and parapet. Rebecca escaped to the Patriots, who started hammering away at the British compound (um, Rebecca’s estate). After several days of fighting, the Patriots concluded the only way to force the British from their newly occupied “fort” was to set fire to Rebecca’s house. When Lee, the leader of the Patriot force, broke the news to Mrs. Motte, she didn’t protest, pout or cry, no—she responded as a beautifully fierce woman by telling him that she was “gratified with the opportunity of contributing to the good of her country.”
Rebecca produced a bow and set of arrows and told Lee to put them to use. She was ready to sacrifice her beautiful estate for the cause. The flaming arrows set fire to the roof of her home and forced the British to surrender. The Patriots quickly climbed to the roof and managed to put out the flames and salvage the home. After the victory, true to the spirit of a beautifully fierce woman, Rebecca Motte served dinner to both the American and British officers in her dining room!
This fierce woman was living for something bigger than herself, something more valuable to her than physical possessions. She was living for a cause she believed in and was willing to suffer the consequences and physical loss fighting for that cause. Our daily choices reveal what we’re living for.
Jesus laid it out in simple terms: “No one can serve two masters . . .” (Matt. 6:24). He grabs our attention with this simple statement, inserted within a message, and challenges us to check our hearts in relation to our possessions. Are our hearts set on real treasure—the eternal kind?
His pronouncement is really a formula for determining where our heart is: “Who am I serving here?” If I’m grabbing onto and holding tight earthly treasure . . . my heart isn’t really set on anything bigger than my stuff.
Rebecca was ready to let her “stuff” burn for a greater cause. What about me? Am I living for something more than just the here and now?
What about you?
Are you living for something bigger than yourself?
More valuable than your stuff?
How do your daily choices demonstrate what or Who you are living for?