I don’t guess I’ve thought about this much at all over the decades since I became a believer. I was a little surprised when I first read this suggestion by one of you that I talk about what constitutes sin. “How do I know if what I’m doing is sinful?” But, that’s a great question! Many times, I do something or say something which at the time seems either harmless or innocent or justified only to examine my motivations later and find that whatever that thing was, it was in fact sinful. Of course, it doesn’t always happen that way. Some people are at this moment, in turmoil because they don’t know whether the lifestyle they are currently engaged in is pleasing or distasteful to God.
If you find yourself examining your own life in this way, I think it is probably a good thing. You are asking whether you should make a change that will please God. Many of us are so caught up in making our lives fit what we want, that we fail to even ask what God might want. What a shame, because what he wants for us is so much better than what we want. We miss out on the best by pursuing something that we think is good. Someone said, “Good is the enemy of best”. There is a lot of truth in that.
Sometimes, when I’m praying, I’m asking God to do a certain thing and my thoughts are suddenly redirected as if I’m not doing the thinking anymore but God is doing my thinking for me. I’ll be asking for one thing and suddenly in my mind, I see God doing something else. Then I have the small revelation that my motives were wrong. I was asking God to do something that I had a desire for and I include something in it for Him. It’s like me asking you to make me a sandwich and saying, “while you’re at it, make one for yourself too”. Our motives are what’s important to God. People see you from the outside but God looks at your heart. He sees what’s at the root. What is at the root of your motivation?