“All a man’s ways seem right to him, but the Lord evaluates the motives.” (Proverbs 21:2)
It amazes me that there are so many of us, who profess to be Christinas, who continue to live their lives according to their standard of living. They live a selfish, self-centered, self-serving life that excludes God. Today’s verse is one of those verses we love to hate because it tells a truth about ourselves we’re not willing to admit, and a truth about God we don’t want to accept. Let’s break it down, and take a closer look at it.
- “All…” – the word, “all”, in this verse, is an all-inclusive word. It means, with no exclusions, or exceptions.
- “a man’s ways…” – this includes all we think, all we do, and all we say, with no exceptions.
- “seem right to him…” – selfish, self-serving pride convinces us that everything we think, do, and say, is right – that there is no wrong in us, so much so that we often pick a fight when others disagree with us.
- “but the Lord evaluates the motives.” – God is our Lord. He, alone, has the right, power, and authority to examine, evaluate, judge, and give us our just rewards for what motivates us to think, do, and say what we do. Whatever He finds to be our motivation, He will give us our just rewards. Take a look at what He says about us:
“The heart is more deceitful than anything else, and incurable—who can understand it? I, Yahweh, examine the mind, I test the heart to give to each according to his way, according to what his actions deserve (Jeremiah 17:9-10).”
This is the part that we don’t want to accept about God. There are many of us who truly believe that, because we are under grace, God will not judge, or punish us, for our sin. Friends, when God said this, He was talking to His chosen people, the Israelites. As Christians, we are also His people, adopted into His family through faith in what Jesus did on the cross for us.
God, through the Apostle Paul, says:
“Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things (Philippians 4:8).”
Everything we think, everything we do, and everything we say must honor God. The only way to truly honor God is to strive to live in immediate, radical, costly obedience to His commands. Now, stop for a moment and ask yourself if your the motivation for the things you think, say, and do are to love and obey God, or to continue living according to your own agenda for your life.