READ : Proverbs 21:1-8
We justify our actions by appearances; God examines our motives. (v. 2 The Message)
The novel To Kill a Mockingbird is set in the Deep South during a time rampant with racial prejudice. Lawyer Atticus Finch defends a young black man falsely accused of raping a young white woman. He explains this choice to his young daughter: “One thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience. I have a code of ethics and follow it.” There’s nothing really new about our so-called “postmodern, post-Christian” age, in which everyone does what they feel like and call it good. Such “patting oneself on the back” is as old as the Proverbs. But God continues to weigh our hearts and judges the actions that flow from it.
The Lord, who weighs our hearts and deeds, has given us the Ten Commandments, the Prophets, Proverbs, the Gospels, and the letters of the New Testament. All prescribe behavior pleasing to God and helpful to others, moving beyond ethical theories. Only Jesus perfectly lived up to this teaching.
Trying to follow Jesus is a challenge. But be encouraged, “for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure” (Phil. 2:13).
My Judge and Savior, cleanse my heart. Enable me to live by your Word.