By: Undre Griggs, Jr.
Believers do not need to concern themselves with the motives and reasoning of an unbeliever; we just need to speak the truth in love. Reason being, it is difficult for us to judge the motive behind the actions of another person. We cannot with certainty explain why one person chooses not to go to church, nor can we with certainty explain why another person attends church. That is one of the reasons we are commanded not to pronounce judgments based on motives.
1 Corinthians 4:5 (ESV): Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God.
Traditionally, light exposing darkness is referring to righteousness revealing the unrighteous; but not in this case. The darkness in the above verse represents the hidden motives of the heart. There is nothing inherently good or evil about unknown motives, but we are reminded that we cannot understand another’s heart on our own.
Jeremiah 17:9-10 (ESV): The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? “I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.”
On the last day, God is less interested in the number of deeds completed and more interested in the reason we performed those deeds. For example, if we were looking for praise on earth, not giving glory to God, or not doing it out of love; it would be of no benefit to us.
1 Corinthians 13:3 (NIV): If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Due to the standard by which God will judge, good people in our eyes will be condemned on the last day. God is going to weight the heart against the words in the Bible when deciding our judgment. It is vital we devote as much (if not more) time ensuring our motives are as pure as our actions.
Proverbs 21:2 (NKJV): Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the heart.