God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.
While we hope that our words and actions are more than just good intentions, having the best and right intention is a strong foundation.
“That’s why I seek with all my heart to have a clean conscience toward God and toward others.” —the Apostle Paul
The principle of Right Intention gives new meaning to the old saying “It’s the thought that counts!”
July 4, 2021
The apostle Paul had some very strong feelings about the importance of Right Intention:
1 Corinthians 13:1-3 TPT
… If I were to speak with eloquence in earth’s many languages, and in the heavenly tongues of angels, yet I didn’t express myself with love, my words would be reduced to the hollow sound of nothing more than a clanging cymbal.
And if I were to have the gift of prophecy with a profound understanding of God’s hidden secrets, and if I possessed unending supernatural knowledge, and if I had the greatest gift of faith that could move mountains, but have never learned to love, then I am nothing.
And if I were to be so generous as to give away everything I owned to feed the poor, and to offer my body to be burned as a martyr, without the pure motive of love, I would gain nothing of value…
July 3, 2021
My mentor and spiritual director (unofficially at this time!!!) Danielle Shroyer wrote the following regarding “Right Intention:”
“Don’t act with a twist” is a way to keep us from being tricky with our actions. For example, we offer to help someone, but we do it because we want them to help us with something in return. Or, we’re nice to someone because we’re trying to look good to the person they’re with. Or we smile and acquiesce to someone’s request and then turn around, roll our eyes, and sigh loudly. It’s not a straightforwardly honest interaction. There’s a twist.
If you stop to think about it, you may notice to your horror that you act with a twist far more than you think you do.
Right Intention is about eliminating the twist. We just do the right thing, the good thing, the wise thing, without considering whether it will benefit us or not. When we have pure intentions, we don’t focus on outcomes. True goodwill does not come with a tally sheet… So any time we focus our intentions on what we are going to get out of something, we’ve already lost our clarity. And we’ve twisted whatever good is in the intention.
This weekend, notice whether you’re acting with a twist. When you catch yourself in the act, ask yourself how you can be more direct in your intentions the next time around.
—Danielle Shroyer, www.beasoulninja.com
July 30, 2022
“This idea that we can be motivated by love, I think it’s just the more delightful way to approach something that is the work of our lifetimes. To do it thinking about not just the love of other species, but the love of other humans, the love of ecosystems, the love of places.” –Ayana Elizabeth Johnson
July 17, 2021
“I wrote you previously sobbing and with a broken heart. I was filled with anguish and deep distress. I had no intention of causing you pain but to convey the overwhelming measure of my love for you.” 2 Corinthians 2:4, The Passion Translation
Much of 1 Corinthians and 2 Corinthians deal with the Apostle Paul instructing the church in Corinth to rebuke, correct, even punish a man who was evidently sleeping with his step-mother. We don’t get a lot of details. The situation itself, and then Paul’s demands that the Corinthians not tolerate this man’s behavior…caused much pain, division, and anguish within the church. Much of it came back on Paul as well. We can only mostly read between the lines. Maybe Paul handled it well; but maybe he didn’t. The point is, the point Paul is making in this verse and others, is that he had “Right Intentions.” His intention was pure and good. And that should make all the difference in the world. As people, as flawed human beings, we will disagree, see things from different points of view, and it may even cause us and others pain. But if I know your intentions are nothing but good, how can I not hear you out, try to see things from your perspective, and forgive you for any pain you’ve caused me? Because I certainly hope you would do the same for me. (A.N.)