Tuesday, May 18, 2010

What’s the Motive?

“Wisdom reposes in the heart of the discerning and even among fools she lets herself be known.”

~Proverbs 14:33 (NIV).

Wisdom is the way life works out... eventually. Jesus said this himself in Matthew 11:19: “Wisdom is proved right by her actions.”

The heart is the seat of intentions. It’s the source of our motives. The heart is therefore the very essential source of our wisdom or folly.

We see here that it’s our motives that catch us out or vindicate us basically every time; if not in the moment, certainly eventually, as the spoils of our ‘heart intent’ will visit us and for a time remain. These are the natural consequences of our actions.

When we meet with people one-on-one or around the table we can often detect impure motives in the difference between the words people speak and their body language; the body language is the key to divining intent, not that we should ever read one hundred percent as ‘stated intent’ just merely by what we perceive in ‘connecting the dots.’ Of course, we know this too in our very own incongruent words and actions as we’ve lied through our own teeth at times, and consciously detected within ourselves the discomfort of having done so.

The fundamental principle involved here suggests to us we can’t cheat life and get away with it. Our bent hearts make us a snare we’ll eventually have to account for.

When Jesus suggested wisdom is proved right by her actions he’s merely stating the common nature of life. We will have to wait and see over the longer term as we’re sowing now our own blessings and curses for then, the days to come. Our rewards and punishments are coming.

We, via our actions, are creating the destinies our hearts truly wish for. Can it be that our very hearts are somewhat against us, or what is best for us?

Our motives, whilst we might think them hidden, will be revealed, and particularly to the discerning. Imagine having a hidden and deleterious motive to sin against someone, falling for lust or envy or some other deadly sin, and then suddenly everyone finding out what that’s about. This is not an impossibility.

I’ve always liked the euphemism of Sy Rogers’:

“You tell on the sin or it will tell on you.”

It’s a classic truth.

The only thing for us, really, is to be so well aware of our base motives that we conform them to the very essence of Christ.

“... we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

~2 Corinthians 10:5b (NIV).

It is good that God expects the same from all of us. His wisdom is impenetrable. We must soon come around to this and enduringly so or the God of all creation—by the design of life—will conspire against us.

What’s your motive today? If it’s crook it’s not too late to turn it back to God and his way.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

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