Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. (Psalm 51:10 NIV)
. . . All these examples point up to a grave modern evil, permitting temporal consequences to decide eternal issues. A word of caution should be added. Sometimes an act, though good in itself, may, in a given set of circumstances, be better held in abeyance. Only be sure the reason for waiting is the desire to promote the glory of God and bless mankind. Sometimes a word, though true, would be out of season and injurious to someone. Better be silent than to speak a harmful word. Only let the reason for silence be love and not fear.
To sum up: no act, however noble it may seem to be, done from fear of consequences can be good in itself. A good deed done for earthly gain is an evil deed at bottom. Motive imparts moral quality, and without a holy motive there cannot be a holy act.
O Father, give me clear understanding of consequences. May I discern the eternal from the temporal and not compromise.
Thought How clever is the god of this world into deceiving us into thinking that bowing to temporal consequences can be clothed in moral quality. God knows our hearts. We had better know them, too.
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