When we look in a mirror we get to see the reflection of our physical self. This is very helpful for our reflection helps us see what’s going on with our outward appearance. Examining the condition of our heart however can be a bit more difficult. For there is no mirror and we can be unaware at times at those things out of place. This is why it’s vital to seek God and surrender all the misplaced areas He reveals to us. It’s also beneficial to stop and examine our behavior and thinking as we live out our days:
Motivations: Considering the motivation behind a particular thought, action and pursuit is very helpful in providing a look at our heart (Proverbs 21:2). When we prayerfully consider what is truly motivating particular patterns in our life, there will no doubt be moments of disgust. For perhaps we get to see the truly shallow and selfish parts of our nature. Whenever God allows me to see some of my motivations, I can’t help but fall to my knees, repent and appeal to Him to restore His motives in my life.
Intentions: What is the difference between a motivation and intention? Intentions are what we have determined to do. Motivations are our inner promptings. Therefore, as we check our motivations, we must also examine why we intend to do, or say something. What are we trying to accomplish? Motivations and intentions can be both good and negative. Lives surrendered to God are transformed, and thankfully our motivations and intentions become directed by Him (Psalm 37:31). However, it is a sobering reminder to the condition of our flesh when we see how quickly our intentions can be twisted for selfish purposes.
Actions: Our actions provide the most vivid reflection of our heart. For this is the final outcome of our motivations and intentions – it’s what we actually do. Again, under God, our actions are used for His purposes and good works, but when driven by our flesh, no matter how grand they may appear, they fail in comparison to the most humble of Godly actions (James 2:24).
Application: “Acts 3:19
Admittedly, I don’t always like what I see when I stop to consider my motivations, intentions and actions. For if I’m completely honest, they can all be selfishly motivated at times. However, I am always grateful for the areas He allows me to see and surrender. For in doing so, the more He restores.