What Does the Bible Say About Wrong Motives?

All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the Lord weigheth the spirits. – Proverbs16:2

According to God’s Word, people often have the mindset that they are doing the right thing. It is in the nature of man to desire to be good, to do good things, and to be pleasing in the sight of men and of God because all people were created in God’s own image and likeness.

All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits. – Proverbs16:2

However, the visible things that we do before people and before God is not what counts but by our motives. The motives why we have done certain things is what counts before God.

What are the motives that displease God according to His Word?

  1. Proverbs 17:20 – He that hath a froward heart findeth no good: and he that hath a perverse tongue falleth into mischief.

One way to know if we have wrong motives before God is that it won’t prosper. One good example of a bad motive is that when a person desires the downfall of a person he or she may hate. God is clear that such motive will never happen because God is just. No matter how bad a person is, God desires for everyone to be saved, to be healed, and to be rescued from the works of the devil in their lives. God knows all things and every detail in our life and when someone is too cruel, God knows why and His love is too great to think something negative like people would.

  1. Matthew 6:1 – Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.

Jesus wasn’t warning the unbelievers in his statement here. He was talking to the children of God. Jesus wanted for us to check our motives every time we are doing something good for others publicly because if you do it so that people will admire you, the motives becomes wrong and you loses your heavenly reward.

  1. James 4:3 – Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

When people ask God for something and they don’t receive it, according to this verse, one reason could be is that their motive is wrong. God will never answer a prayer that comes with a selfish motive.

  1. Psalm 66:18 – If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me…

When we are hiding our sins before God, he won’t be able to hear us. Therefore, it is best to confess everything to God no matter how terrible things are in your life. God understands and will not condemn you. He simply wanted you to communicate your heart to Him so that He could help you in whatever situation you are facing. God does not violate our will. Sometimes we choose to do the wrong things and get in trouble for it. God desires that you share all things with Him and allow Him to move freely in your life.


Heavenly Father, I surrender all motives of my heart before you. You can clearly see all things that is right and that is wrong in my heart. I pray that you reveal to me the things that are wrong and help me make them right. For without You Lord, I can do nothing, not even the good things. This I ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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