“People may be right in their own eyes, but the Lord examines their heart.” – Proverbs 21:2 (NLT)
Many people would read today’s scripture and think about the person who is choosing to do something obviously sinful, but justifies it through twisted thinking. But what about the things that we choose to do that are not obviously sinful, yet do not follow a direction that God may want us to go?
For example, think about the Jewish tradition of eating only meat from “clean” animals that began in the Old Testament times. In the book of Acts, we find God wanting to free believers from this tradition, yet many “new” believers who were Jewish couldn’t get past this “old” tradition. As the debate on this was heard in the church, it was soon discovered that some of the people who were fighting for the “old” tradition were doing so believing that it was necessary for salvation. Their heart of “works” was being exposed through this debate, and God helped folks to see that only through the work of Jesus on the cross can someone be made right in their relationship with God.
There are many traditions that we can hold to in church life regarding how we do church. We may appreciate these traditions and some of these may have even helped us to come to know Christ or know Him better in days gone by. Giving up our traditions through change is often uncomfortable. As we pray about changes that might need to be made in regards to what has worked for us traditionally, before we start talking about it one way or another on the outside we might want to let God do a “heart” examination on the inside. God might show us that our reason for not wanting to change is related more to what we have been conditioned to think, rather than what God wants us to do. Methods often change and need to change. God remains the same.
How can we get a better perspective on whether or not a change should be made? With God’s help, ponder questions like:
- Would the change compromise scripture?
- Would the change hinder new folks coming to know Christ?
- Am I bothered because what is being asked would take some effort on my part?
If we will take time to consider why we want to change or not make changes in the company of the Lord and His word, the Lord will show us the true motivators of our heart. God has done great things through those who were willing to make changes for the right reasons. May we be the kind of person who is more interested in being in tune with God than in being right in our own eyes.