TEST YOUR CONDUCT: WHAT ARE YOUR MOTIVES?
By A. W. Tozer
But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted
unto you; And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead;
whereof we are witnesses. Acts 3:14, 15
The test by which all conduct must finally be judged -- is motive.
As water cannot rise higher than its source, so the moral quality
in an act can never be higher than the motive that inspires it.
For this reason, no act that arises from an evil motive can be good,
even though some good may appear to come out of it.
Every deed done out of anger or spite, for instance, will be found at
last to have been done for the enemy and against the Kingdom of God!
In this matter of motive, as in so many other things, the Pharisees
afford us clear examples.
They remain the world's most dismal religious failures, not because of
doctrinal error, nor because they were careless or lukewarm, nor because
they were outwardly persons of dissolute life.
Their whole trouble lay in the quality of their religious motives.
They prayed, but they prayed to be heard of men. They gave generously
to the service of the temple, but they sometimes did it to escape their duty
toward their parents, and this was an evil. They judged sin and stood against
it when found in others, but this they did from self-righteousness and hardness
That this is not a small matter may be gathered from the fact that those
orthodox and proper religionists went on in their blindness, until at last they
crucified the Lord of glory, with no inkling of the gravity of their crime!
Yours in Christ,
Paul N. F.