Friday, August 28, 2015

Intentions -vs- Actions

My friend, Renee, let me come over and share in her bean bounty.  While visiting, she mentioned something that I knew I would blog about:  Intentions -vs- Actions.

What is more important, to have intentions or actions?  I never thought about this before.  

We all have intentions:  I intend to lose 20 pounds, I intend to weed all of my flower beds, I intend to clean out the storage shed, I intend to volunteer at the homeless shelter or whatever your plans or intentions may be.  

Our actions, however is a reflection of our intentions acted upon.  I intended to lose 20 pounds, but the chocolate cake I'm eating won't get me there.  I intended to weed my flower beds, but by the looks of the weeds, I didn't quite meet that goal.  I intended to clean out the storage shed, I'm partially done with that.  I intended to volunteer at the homeless shelter but, where did the summer go? 

In my opinion, one can have the "best" of intentions, but we won't be judged on is our actions that will form other's opinions of us.  

In thinking about this post, the Joker and Batman came to mind.  I know, this dates me...  The Joker has intentions to cause chaos and treat every situation like a joke or game.  Batman on the other hand, is serious and fights evil to protect the people in his city.  Classic villain and hero scenario.  We really don't judge these characters by their intentions, rather we base our opinion of them on their actions.  


I'm sure we can all think of people in history that had intentions, but their actions didn't materialize.  Sometimes it was a blessing that they were unable to accomplish their goals.  Adolf Hitler had horrific intentions not only for the Jewish nation, but the world.  Thankfully he was defeated and unable to accomplish them.  Abraham Lincoln intended to abolish slavery, but was unable to accomplish that due to his assignation.  Just think of all the blood shed that might have been saved had he been able to end the civil war earlier.

I could do a whole bible study on this.  Scripture tells me that God will judge us not only by our actions, but also by our intentions.  

"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked:  who can know it?  I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings."  Jeremiah 17: 9-10

Unlike man, who judge each other on our actions, God judges us by what is in our heart, our intentions.  Even our most hidden thoughts...

"But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart."  (red letters)  Matthew 5:28

Yikes, what?!?  What hope do we have then, if God is judging our intentions too.  I think on David.  David was favored by God, truthfully, as a woman, I don't understand it.  David, had several wives, committed adultery, lusted after a married woman and then killed her husband.  How then, did David become such a beloved figure?  It was his heart...David always found a way back to repentance.  

"Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit with in me."  Psalm 51:10

I may be a simple minded person, but I find comfort in this.  We all are human, we all struggle with our sinful nature - our intentions and actions.  I want to use David's example of finding a place of repentance - "create in me a clean heart Lord."

Lately, I have been so comforted by the following scripture:

"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.  Those things, which ye have both learned and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you."  Philippians 4:8-9

I know it seems too simple - think on good things.  How can we as the world if full of the other.  Worry, depression, anxiety even hate can find a way into our minds and hearts.  Just do as I am trying..."create in me a clean heart Lord" and think on things that are honest, true and of a good report and find peace in the love of Christ - his saving grace.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

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