“All the ways of a man are clean in his own sight, But the LORD weighs the motives.”
Denying the self is hard. The self begs for attention. It needs to be recognized. It longs to exalt itself. This is an ugly human tendency and when it’s fed, the beast only gets stronger. God’s Word shows us no man is exempt, not even the apostles whom God greatly used. Thinking about an example we could apply to our lives would be Peter’s desire to look better than the rest when it came to forgiveness mentioning seven times as a maximum limit, as if it were an impressive number. He was also rebuked by Jesus to have thought only about earthly consequences and not God’s will (Matthew 16:21-23). Though he was the only one who was bold enough to attempt to walk on water, his doubt overcame him and he sank (Matthew 14:25-31).
This is not a faultfinding exposé on Peter. He was humbled many times, but he was the one who drew the sword to defend Jesus. Amid Peter’s tendency to be rash, mainly since he was also in the company of men who have competitive tendencies (Mark 9:33-35), Jesus saw what was truly in his heart. He had the makings of a true leader (John 21:15-19). There was this pureness of devotion and boldness hiding behind layers of self-exaltation.
People can dress up selfishness with good intentions, but when we do face God, as He asks us the question of why we did this and that, what can we say to the One who sees all? No tiny detail is hidden from Him, none.
As we labor for the Lord, will our work be counted as straw or gold?
“For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it pierces even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It judges the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight; everything is uncovered and exposed before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account”