All the ways of a man are clean in his own sight,
But the Lord weighs the motives. Proverbs 16:2 NASB)
We can feel pretty good about the things that we do, but we often do not understand why we do what we do. It is possible to give with your hand but not your heart.
In my job, we often share the workload. When one person is down in their caseload, others are often asked to share their cases to keep that person working. Not long ago I was asked and gave away several of my cases. I did not really want to lose them, but for the good of the project, I knew this is what I should do. Recently, I had some medical bills and other extra financial expenses, which wiped out all of the funds I had put away for a rainy day. At the same time, the bottom dropped out of my workload. I was told that there were some cases possibly available for me to work. In the end, they were given to someone else.
I started feeling a little sorry for myself. I felt like I had given up my cases and now when I had a need, there was nothing for me. I started thinking that if I had not given up my cases, I might not have found myself in this dilemma. I was in a downward spiral. Then one morning in my daily reading the verse above in Proverbs hit me right between the eyes.
God was weighing my motives, and I had been tested and found wanting. What I had given with my hand, I had started to take back in my heart. The universe does not revolve around me. God’s sovereign choices are made including my needs but exclusive to them. Possibly, someone else needed the cases more than me. Or God in his infinite wisdom assigned the work without regard to need. God always has the right to choose as he pleases. What was my response? God, forgive me, I thought and concluded before I saw it from your perspective. Purity of motive may only come when we first have the humility to admit that we do not have it.
Image used with permission by Microsoft.
Ken Barnes the author of “The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places” YWAM Publishing