Recently I surprised myself by snapping back at my son for asking a perfectly reasonable question. Because it bothered me that I had been so irritable, I spent the next day asking myself, “Why did I do that?” My wife had the answer. “He challenged your authority, and you didn’t like that.” It was true. Sometimes others can see our reasons more clearly than we do.

God sees our motives with clarity and truth. He knows what moves us to snap back when we ought to be silent or what moves us to be quiet when we ought to speak out. He knows what we do and why we do it. He knows us better than we know ourselves.

Who are we trying to please? God or people? The tension can be subtle when we cleverly rationalize our actions. There is no magic formula for getting this right all the time, but thinking carefully about “why” we do things is a good place to start.

God sees the truth. He knows the “motives of our hearts.” Sometimes this is called “living for an audience of One,” but that’s only partially true. We are called to live out our faith before others, too. The audience of watchers is always more than one, but it is only One that we are called to please.

Resolve to please God above all others. Ask him to search your heart, to guard your motives, and live for him alone.

Father God, I want to please you by following your commandments and reflecting the love your Son exhibits.Please guide me to act, think, and speak, guided by your Holy Spirit so others can see your work in me. Amen.

Go Deeper — Be honest. What motivates you to act, speak, or think as you do?

Tags: 1&2 Thessalonians 1 Thessalonians 2
Photo Credit: Raychan