“Concerning you, his motives are never good. Whatever good he says to you is only for his good, and not yours. He only loves himself. Remember that.” This gentle reminder from a close friend might as well have set off an avalanche. But I thought we weren’t to judge motives, and how can we? We can’t see inside a man’s heart to know why things are said and done. What about only Jesus knowing the inmost thoughts and intents of the heart and that the heart is deceitful and desperately wicked; who can know it? What about those verses in scripture?
While certainly, we cannot know why someone does or says a certain thing whether good or bad, we can observe actions and listen to words. Over time, a judgment can be made regarding the goodness or badness of a heart. But what if words and actions don’t match? What about that?
The words will match the action if the words spoken are true.
Let’s say Jack tells Jill that she’s the most important person in his life other than God, that he would give her the moon if he could, and that there was nobody as beautiful or nurturing as she. As women, we would be thrust into tears upon hearing such accolades. Jack is never home and when he is, he’s either working or is on the phone. He flirts in public and laughs at dirty jokes. This is a case where words and actions don’t match. Red Flag.
If you’re still left wondering, it doesn’t hurt to look at past behavior. Mostly, people (men AND women) don’t change. Their heart’s condition is what it is. Similarly, a leopard can’t change its spots nor an Ethiopian his skin. (Jeremiah 13:23)
The heart. It’s where all the vital data are stored. If you’re with someone long enough, the information regarding their character will eventually be revealed. All behavior, whether verbal or physical, comes from it. The heart is the emotional and mental storage facility of the body. If you’re left confused because words and actions don’t match, you have good reason. Until the heart is cleaned, gutted of all past hurts and traumas, and set anew, it will continue to produce bad things. Jesus says, A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. A man is known by the fruit he bears. (Matthew 7:18) He also says that what you say flows from what is in your heart. (Luke 6:45)
How can we know what kind of heart is inside a man or woman?
What is that man or woman DOING? What is he or she SAYING? That’s the ONLY way to know. Take a look. THEN either move forward with him or her or get the heck out of there.