“I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.”
— Jeremiah 17:10

Looking for the approval of others is a slippery slope. The biggest problem is that it can take good things and make them toxic. The reason you do things matters as much as the things you are doing. For example, it’s great to want to be healthy, so sticking to a diet can be a powerful tool. But if you’re dieting because you think people will like you more if you’re skinny, that is very dangerous. There are a million examples of this.

The verse above reminds us of the relationship between our hearts and actions. Our actions are the reflection of our hearts, and as it says, God rewards each person according to their conduct and what their deeds deserve. Here is what I want you to know. Changing your actions doesn’t have the power to change your heart. But changing your heart will change your actions.

As we strive to have pure hearts and reasonable motives, we can consider King David an example. He shows us that it’s not about our outward appearance or position in life but about having a heart that loves and seeks God. And when we have that, God will reward us according to our deeds.

This verse can motivate us to strive for a heart of faith and ensure that our actions reflect that. God knows our hearts, sees everything, and can change how you see yourself. Going to God with your insecurities and letting his word and spirit speak to you can change everything. That’s where it starts.

Dear Lord, help us to have pure hearts and good motives. Teach us to live in a way that pleases You, and allow us to remember that You are the one who ultimately judges and rewards us. Give us the strength and determination to strive for a heart of faith and ensure our actions reflect that. In Jesus’ name, Amen.