It’s been an interesting thought process as I’ve been wrestling through that T.S. Eliot quote I referenced in part 1 of this series.
The irony is that doing the right things can sometimes push you farther away from God. That’s why motive matters. It can also lead you closer to Him, but that is what we’d expect. But I think most of us would be shocked to think of doing something good and the end result being a greater separation between us and God. As Tim Keller put it in his book about the story of the Prodigal Sons:
â€œIf, like the elder brother, you seek to control God through your obedience, then all your morality is just a way to use God to make him give you the things in life you really want.â€ Tim Keller, Prodigal God
However, sometimes we need to do the right thing even if we can’t do it for the right reasons. This might cause us conflict or even cause hesitations of becoming modern-day Ananias and Sapphiras but there is a C.S. Lewis quote that I think brilliantly puts this in perspective:
â€œPretending is acting a certain way and hoping that someday you will feel that way. Hypocrisy is acting in a certain way and never intending to feel that way.â€ C.S. Lewis