Mar 21, 2009

The Motives of Our Hearts...

Proverbs 21:2
“All a man’s ways seem right to him, but the LORD weighs his heart.”

God looks at the motives and intentions in our hearts that guide and motivate our decisions and the directions we take. He looks at the purity of our hearts and why we choose to do certain things or go certain places. It can be very easy for us to justify our actions or desires, especially if we want them bad enough. However, that doesn’t make them right.
There has to be a proverbial “yard stick” or measurement for truth and the distinction between right and wrong. This verse says that “all a man’s ways seem right to him,” however, that is impossible. It is impossible that all his ways are right. As humans we are born imperfect, therefore, it is impossible that 100% of all we do is right. That may be our subjective, and somewhat delusional, opinion about our behaviour, but it is not fact and it is not reality from God’s perspective. And that is the one perspective that should matter most, especially in the life of a believer.

It only stands to reason that where there is right, its opposite; wrong, must also be present. We know that man and his ways are not perfect (always and completely right), for if a man or woman claims to be perfect, then he or she is only fooling themselves and calling God a liar (1 John 1:8-10). Our sense of morality guides and shapes what is right and wrong to us. Our ways and our morality go hand in hand, like a game of “Follow the Leader.” Our sense of morality will define our ways. Morals precede our ways or actions.

The above verse says “seem right to him…” If something “seems[1],” then it is not necessarily what it appears or claims to be all the time. Things can seem right to us and we do them, but to someone else our actions may appear strange or unwise. Because of this, it must be God, the Perfect Judge (2 Timothy 4:8), and not solely ourselves, who evaluates, sanctions and ultimately judges our ways. God and his truth are the proverbial “yard stick” or standard of measurement by which we judge and validate our ways. That is why the verse says, “the LORD weighs[2] [a man’s] heart.” God alone has the complete ability and right to guide us and give sanction or not to the decisions and directions we make or take in our lives. Be assured that God judges fairly (Revelation 19:11).

If we go solely by what seems right to us or what we want, then we are asking for trouble because, apart from God and His ways, man knows not on his own the best ways to go. The state of our society today is living proof of that. Validate and confirm your “seemingly right ways” against God’s truth and guidance. If you get a green light from Him, then you’re ok. If you don’t, then there must be a reason. Trust Him and let Him guide you today.

[1] SEEM[S]: To suit or fit. To give the impression of being right, to appear to be true, to appear to one’s own mind or opinion. From Old Norse meaning, “to conform to.” Prov. 21:2 ~ “All a man’s ways [conform to, suit, fit] what is right to him…”

[2] WEIGHS: To evaluate… Prov.21:2 ~ “the LORD [evaluates a man’s] heart.


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