What God Values More than Your Motives

Matt Smethurst | September 16, 2015


We all know what it’s like to do the right thing for the wrong reason. But what about the reverse? Have you ever done the wrong thing for (what you thought was) the right reason?

Your motives were pure, but you still blew it.

Motives Matter

One thing that separates biblical Christianity from almost every other religion is its laser-like focus on our hearts. Our Creator cares what we do, to be sure, but most fundamentally he cares how and why we do certain things. He’s interested in those intentions that are hidden from human eyes. He’s after our hearts.

Psalm 100:2 commands us to “serve the LORD with gladness.” This means that serving God can be an exercise in disobedience. (Yes, you read that correctly.) If our service springs from a heart that isn’t glad in God, it isn’t obedience. It’s sin.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus raises the bar even higher. Struggling with hatred? You have a murder problem. Lust? It’s adultery (Matt. 5:21–22, 27–28). And when you fast or give to the poor, Jesus says, make sure no one notices (Matt. 6:1–4, 16–18). God sees your heart, and his approval is enough.

The Maker of heaven and earth isn’t just concerned…


To read the rest of this article, visit http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/what-god-values-more-than-your-motives.