The inspiration for this came from Matt Chandler. He was speaking at yesterday’s Acts 29 Conference in London’s East End. He quoted Proverbs 21:2. And I thought that it’s a Proverb worth pondering. So ponder it, we shall. Matt was talking about it in the context of church planting motivation, explaining that why we’re doing what we’re doing matters. Here’s the Proverb.
A person may think their own ways are right, but the Lord weighs the heart. Proverbs 21:2
I usually think my own ways are right. You can count on the fingers of one hand the times when I’m uncertain about why I’m doing what I’m doing. I rarely think that whatever it is I’m doing or have done is, in some way, wrong. My capacity for self-justification is limitless. I can justify almost everything that I say or do. And I’m especially good at justifying it in hindsight. I have no problem in explaining and rationalizing whatever it is that I’ve done. And it’s never wrong. I can deconstruct what others have done and show you in painful excruciating details why what they’ve done was misplaced, unwise or even wicked. As I weigh up what’s happened, I always come out of that analysis well. The problem is invariably with the other person. Their reaction was unjustified. They were unreasonable. I couldn’t have predicted how they’d respond. They have sin that they need to confess. Me? Not really. I may have been unwise. But I wasn’t wrong.
But the Lord sees my heart. He knows. He even sees what I can’t see; my hidden motives. There’s no hiding. His assessment of why I did what I did is flawless. And I can’t fool him. And reagrdelss of what I think about what I’ve done, it’s His judgment of my motivation that matters.
When I reflect on that it ought to make be less certain. It means I ought to trust my own assessment of what happened with a lot less certainty than I do. It ought to make me open to ‘feedback’ or constructive criticism. And recognise the Lord’s rebuke or correction in that. It ought not to make me instinctively defensive. It doesn’t mean that others necessarily have better insight into what’s going on in my heart. Only the Lord weighs the heart flawlessly. But it ought to make me humble and willing to have my motives exposed for what they may be. By the Lord. And perhaps through the agency of others. It’ll mean that I won’t be dismissive or evasive when friends gentle ask about the reasons that were coursing through my heart when I did what I did.
Theer you go; wisdom for Wednesday. I’ve no idea whether this will become a regular post. I hope so. I can’t help feeling that a bit more wisdom in my life might be helpful!