Tag Archives: motive

New Testament evaluation goes to motive, as well as behavior

The Church is Full of Hypocrites
A False Appearance – Part 3

Scripture Reading: Matthew 23:1-12

Key Verse: Matthew 23:3

So practice and obey whatever they tell you, but don’t follow their example. For they don’t practice what they teach.

When trying to determine who is a hypocrite, motive is an essential aspect of the equation. Jesus said of the Pharisees, “Everything they do is done for men to see…” Jesus, being the Son of God, could see their hearts and motives. Only He could see the reasons for everything they did for God. We may think a person’s motives are bad, but we seldom truly know because we are incapable of knowing their inner thoughts. We see the actions or behaviors that were done, which is not enough to convict anyone of being a hypocrite. We can see someone fail in living out their values, but we don’t know the true reason behind the failure. Was it because they are not trying or because they are weak? They may have repented before God and feel terrible that they failed the Lord. I don’t call that hypocritical but rather, being human. If a failure to live out a value that a person claims he has is because they don’t really value it as much as they claim, then it would certainly be hypocritical.

In the New Testament, motive is central to all that God sent Jesus to accomplish. The truths of the New Testament are about the work of God in the heart, the part of man that only God can see. Even the definition of sin is redefined in the New Testament verses from what it was in the Old Testament. Old Testament definition of sin is simply any failure, any missing of the mark or target. In that definition, everyone sinned every day! New Testament evaluation goes to motive, as well as behavior. Jesus reminded everyone that God looks upon the heart! (Continued)

Father, help me to examine my motives in all that I do today. May I glorify you in all that I do. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.