By: Undre Griggs, Jr.
A trait unique to God is His ability to accurately judge the heart. There is good reason, as judging the heart is a difficult task for any of us to accomplish. We may even find it difficult to understand our own actions, let alone what is encouraging the actions of others.
Jeremiah 17:9 (ESV): The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?
Our heart may have us believing we are being considerate of others, when the reality is we are only considering ourselves. Our heart may have us believing we are not disappointed by the actions of some, but the reality is we are truly hurting from the betrayal.
Proverbs 21:2 (ESV): Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the heart.
Our inability to understand the motive to the action is why we misunderstand each other on a regular basis. Consider someone purchasing another person a cup of coffee: did they have extra money that day, are they in a good mood and wanted to share the joy, or are they interested in getting to know the person on an intimate level? While the action has value, it alone is not enough for us to confidently discern the implications of the action.
Jeremiah 17:10 (ESV): “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.”
This is part of the reason we consistently see the Bible equating sins that many believe to be “capital offenses” to the sins that many believe are a shortcoming of being “only human”.
Revelation 21:8 (ESV): But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”
Even among believers, not everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 7:21). Some believers will be separated with the sheep while other believers will be placed with the goats (Matthew 25). Even though they both sin every day, God found some acceptable and others unworthy. Could the judgment of the heart be the difference? We look at Paul and understand he played a vital role in the murder of Christians; yet God thought him worthy to be an Apostle. Could it be that while his actions were evil, his heart was not? In the parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector (Luke 18:9-14), could the Tax Collector have been the one who left justified; not because he lived the better life, but because he had the better heart? I encourage all Christians to live a life of spirit and truth, but remember, nothing is greater than love (1 Corinthians 13:13) and love covers a multitude of sin (1 Peter 4:8).