2People may be pure in their own eyes, but the Lord examines their motives. Proverbs 16:2
I remember being at a conference years ago and the speaker said to the audience that as humans, we have never had a pure motive in our lives. At that time, I was in my late 20’s or early 30’s and I remember being really offended by that statement - of course my motivation was pure in doing the “good” things I had done! Now that I’m in my 50’s, I understand the wisdom behind those words. At my very best, I’m a mixed bag of motives depending on the situation.
I want to do good in the world and I desire to serve God with all that I am and have, but often, the good that I desire to do has hidden motivations and aspirations within them. I want to be liked by others, I want people to think that I’m kind and compassionate; I want to look good to others.
My actions may be pure in my own eyes, but if I really drill down and examine my own heart, I see the jumbled mess that often lives there. Even if I am blinded to my own motives, God never is.
Look at verse 2 in The Living Bible: 2 We can always “prove” that we are right, but is the Lord convinced?
And in The Message: 2Humans are satisfied with whatever looks good; God probes for what is good.
God knows what is really within our hearts and what drives our actions, but He desires to cultivate something much different within us. For those of that are Christ followers, His Holy Spirit lives within us and has planted seeds that become fruit when properly tended. This fruit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (see Galatians 5:22,23).
God’s examination of us is not to condemn us, but to bring out His best within us. He loves us too much to leave us as we are.
Executive Director of Education and Outreach