Going through today’s reading (Proverbs 16) I had one of those, “I’ve never noticed that verse” moments (even though I’ve probably read Proverbs 16 like twenty to forty times in my life). It was reading verse 2:
I can completely do the right thing and have it be completely wrong, because my motives were not innocent. We tend to think about our actions, but not so much about our motives. Really, it’s intense. Think about it.
– You could give lots of your hard earned money to the poor, but because you’re doing it to impress others or to feel good about yourself, it’s wrong.
– You could bring flowers home to your wife, but because you’re doing it to get more play in the bedroom, it’s wrong.
– You could start a church, but because you’re doing it because of your need to be in charge and have things done your way, its wrong.
And, by the way, if you read the rest of Proverbs 16, it seems obvious that the motive that really displeases God is pride – a self-sufficient, controlling heart.
So how ya doing with your motives? Do you examine them much, or are you just happy if you do what seems to be the right thing, regardless of why you did it?