When interpreting character, when searching into the things in a person’s heart which causes them to go to the right or to the left, I find myself wondering, “Can I overlook someone’s misguided actions and award them mercy, solely based on if they were done with good intentions?”
Every single day people will bequeath a certain amount of grace to others, even people they will never know personally; whether it’s opening the door for someone, allowing someone to turn into your driving lane when driving your car, or simply showing kindness by being polite. Yet these actions alone have no meaning if they don’t come out of a heart of love. God cares about your heart, more so than your actions.
Mark 7:6 – And He said to them, “Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS, BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME.
In my life people have shown me great kindness, respect, and love, all of which I am very grateful and thankful for. And, these same people who I love and who I feel love me; have also treated me in ways where I felt wronged, disrespected, and offended. The phrase can never be said enough, because it is so true, in that “The one’s whom you love the most, can also hurt you the most.” I believe that this is also the case with God.
1 Samuel 16:14 – Now the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD terrorized him.
Proverbs 16:4 – The LORD has made everything for its own purpose, even the wicked for the day of evil.
I love the book of 1 Samuel. The story of God’s rejection of Saul, and acceptance of David is a good example to show how a person who has character traits of loyalty, duty, obligation, commitment, and obedience are of greater value than someone who acts with the best intentions, to do good. The Bible says that Saul was “…a choice and handsome man, and there was not a more handsome person than he among the sons of Israel; from his shoulders and up he was taller than any of the people. (1 Sam. 9:2) So, Saul was THE MAN! Now, in one case of Saul’s disobedience (1 Sam. 13:8-14), and in another case of disobedience Saul show’s his good intentions (1 Sam. 15:18-22). I feel that the story of Saul is a perfect case of someone who tried their best, yet still failed. Saul’s story shows that good intentions aren’t good enough with God. The “I’m sorry” attitude just isn’t good enough.
After Saul’s disobedience, God instructed Samuel to go anoint His chosen one (David). God told Samuel, when looking at Eliab (David’s older brother), “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart” (1 Sam. 16:7). Though men are not able to know, through studied knowledge, what’s in the heart of others, God will use the Holy Spirit to help provide wisdom so that we can know who to trust and love, as we keep our faith in God.
1 Corinthians 2:11 – For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God.
And to answer the question, “Can I overlook someone’s misguided actions and award them mercy, solely based on if they were done with good intentions?” The answer is yes. I can do whatever I want! 🙂
**All Bible verses NASB**