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Now a fence normally exists either to contain something, such as a pet or small children, or to protect what is inside of it from intruders. This piece of fence, although pretty, could do neither. It could serve only one purpose, to be seen. It was white enough and it was straight enough, but it had no real functionality, it was simply there for show.
This dysfunctional fence made me think of experiences I have had in my own life. When we do things "for the Lord" sometimes they can be like that piece of picket fence. It looks good on the outside, but it has no true function. Even if the actions are right enough, if the motives are wrong, then the actions are as worthless as that strip of fence.
"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity,
I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries,
and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains,
and have not charity, I am nothing.
And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned,
and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing."
I Corinthians 13:1-3
Our actions and deeds, no matter how good they seem on the outside, must have a motive of love, and not just any love. It must be a love that follows the example of the nature and character of Christ:
"... Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart,
and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind;
and thy neighbour as thyself."
I have pondered this often. Just what is my motive for the things I do? How often is my motive the love of God and the love of neighbour and how often is it something else? How often is it to be well-thought of, or to be thought of as a "good person"?
How many "Christian" acts are done out of pride and vanity instead of humility and lowliness of heart? How many church visits are made with the purpose of attracting a date, or a mate, a business deal or higher place in society?
May we humble ourselves and ask the Lord to search our hearts and purify our motives so that what we do for Him is truly for Him and not in some way shape or form for ourselves.
Let the prayer of David often be on our hearts:
"Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."