Our intentions and motives don’t always align with our actions. Sometimes our intentions are better than our actions. Many people intend to pray more than they actually do, or maybe they intend to study more hours than they actually log, or they intend to be nicer to their spouse than they actually are. In these cases people hope to be judged according to their intentions rather than their actions.
On the other hand, sometimes our intentions are worse than our actions. We may make judgments against others in our heart, but not ever communicate those judgments or do anything about them. We may judge or condemn or try to manipulate people, but hide our true intentions so that they may go undetected. In these situations we hope to only be judged by our actions, not our sinister intentions.
What about God’s intentions – can we clearly discern them? Not always. God’s intentions are to advance His Kingdom so that more and more people will know Him and experience...
Most of us live in deep fear of being found out. We are scared of people knowing us deeply; our weaknesses, inadequacies, fears, doubts and sin. We are deeply ashamed of our condition. Yet, we all have darknesses – we are all very flawed, and our responses to our conditions are
peppered with brokenness.
Coming clean with who we are and what we have done can feel terrifying … apart from the grace of God. Letting others, God or even ourselves know just how corrupted parts of our souls are raises fears. We are afraid of being judged, condemned – or worst of all – rejected. So, we are tempted to deny or hide our “stuff.” We try to tell ourselves and/or others that we either didn’t do what we did, or that it wasn’t really sin when we did it. We often coat our motives with feigned good intentions. We perform these mental gymnastics because it’s too scary to admit the truth about ourselves … apart from the grace of God.