I was reading Proverbs 21 this morning, and the second verse gave me a little pause:
Every man’s way is right in his own eyes, But the LORD weighs the hearts. (NASB)
I wanted to share just a few thoughts I had while meditating on this verse.
First, it struck me that we don’t naturally question ourselves. We think our way is right, all the time. As a consequence, we see that when we do question our ways, this is a work of God—specifically the Holy Spirit. Further, we see that we need other Christians in our lives as Spirit-powered voices to help us break out of our assumption that we are always right.
Additionally, we see that God weighs our hearts. So not only is what we do important, but the reasons and motivations for our actions are front and center before God. This is a crucial lesson for me personally and as a father.
Finally, notice the tension that is set up between the first and second portions of this verse. The contrast is between actions and motivations, and the judgments of man and God. We judge our own actions, and we find ourselves in the right. God judges our motivations. We know from elsewhere that God is certainly concerned with actions, but from here (and other places) we know God is more concerned with our hearts.