Proverbs 21:2 - We Are So Handicapped Without A Relationship With God.

Pro.21:2: We Are So Handicapped Without A Relationship With God.

Pro. 21:2 (KJV)  Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: 
but the LORD pondereth the hearts.  

Pro.21:2 (TLB)  We can justify our every deed, but God looks at 
our motives. 

Pro.21:2 (CWR)  A man may justify everything he does as right, 
but the Lord judges his motives. 

Pro.16:2 (KJV)  All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; 
but the LORD weigheth the spirits. 

People can find an excuse for doing almost anything, but God 
looks behind the excuses to the motives of the heart. We often have to 
make choices in areas where the right action is difficult to discern. 
We can help ourselves make such decisions by trying to identify our 
motives first and then asking, "Would God be pleased with my real 
reasons for doing this?" [Life Application SB] 

Initially this statement seems unfair: we live the way that 
seems right to us, and we're condemned for it. But this is a proverb 
about powerlessness. On our own, we are unable to determine the right 
direction for our lives. That is why Steps Three and Eleven are so 
critical to our recovery. They make it possible for us to say, "You steer 
my life, God. This direction seems right, but what is your will for 
me?" Then we will follow the way that not only seems right, but 
actually is right. [Life Recovery Devotional SB re Pro.16:25] 

This command is given directly to believers, for unbelievers are 
unable to do otherwise.  We are called to check our motives and the 
intentions of our hearts before we take any action or do any service for 
the Lord.  It seems this verse is telling us it would be better to 
do nothing than to do it with a wrong motive.  Then, to complicate 
matters, we must realize that we cannot adjust our motives and intentions 
ourselves.  Our first task is to check our motives.  Then we must confess 
our sin to the Lord.  Along with forgiveness and cleansing, the Lord 
changes our hearts.  Once our hearts are right, we can proceed with 
service.  What do you need to do before proceeding with service to the 
Lord?  Think about it!  [In His Time; Walk With Wisdom re 16:2] 

The man who is still a law to himself is certain that his ways 
are pure. How can his conclusions be otherwise when the only 
standard of judgment he possesses is his own? It is the work of the Holy 
Spirit to break through this complacency and to bring the conviction 
that there is an absolute standard, most clearly stated in the Word 
of God and most effectively illustrated and exemplified in the life 
of Christ. Only the Creator of mankind knows the underlying motives 
in the self-deceiving hearts of men, and He uses every agency of 
heaven to bring a conviction of the need of a Saviour and of the 
sufficiency of divine power for regeneration. [SDA Commentary re 16:32] 

When a man takes the position that when he has once made a 
decision he must stand by it, and never to alter his decision, he is on 
the same ground as was Lucifer when he rebelled against God. He held 
his plans regarding the government of heaven as an exalted, 
unchangeable theory.  No man should think that human opinions are to be 
immortalized. Any man taking the stand that he will never change his views 
places himself on dangerous ground. Those who hold the position that 
their views are unchangeable can not be helped; for they place 
themselves where they are not willing to receive counsel and admonition 
from their brethren.  {3BC 1161} 

Prov 14:12 & 16:25 (KJV)  There is a way which seemeth right 
unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. 

Prov 3:5, 6 (KJV)  Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and 
lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge 
him, and he shall direct thy paths.  

Prov 3:5, 6 (MSG)  Trust God from the bottom of your heart; 
don't try to figure out everything on your own.  Listen for God's 
voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he's the one who will 
keep you on track.  

For a great devotional on making right decisions see Pro.3:5, 6.