Motives Matter

Have you ever done the right thing for the wrong reason? Maybe you visited someone in the hospital just to impress the girl you’re interested in. Or maybe you’ve joined a bible study because the guy you like is leading it. Or maybe you’ve helped someone out financially just so that you can have something to hold over their head if they don’t behave the way you want them to. Proverbs reminds us that it isn’t just what we do that gets the attention of our Lord, but that our motives matter. In chapter 16 verse 2 it says:

"All a man’s ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the Lord."

It is good to do good, but we should also think about why we’re doing what we’re doing. Is there a hidden motive? Even if we can hide them from those around us, or even if we try to convince ourselves that what we’re doing is for the right reason, God knows our motives and he weighs them even if we’ve convinced ourselves that our motives are innocent. I encourage you to reach out to others without the thought of getting anything in return. When we’re able to do that, we’ll know that our motives are in line.


It is great when we have opportunities to help others or do what seems pleasing to our God, but we need to keep our motives in check. We need to remember that when we model the attributes of Jesus, because of our faith and belief in him, we are representing him. We’re often reminded that we reflect Jesus’ hands and feet on this earth, so shouldn’t we reflect his heart as well? And the motives behind our actions will tell us whether our hearts are right or wrong, even when on the surface they seem innocent.