The church was on fire! Great miracles were taking place and the Holy Spirit was moving in the lives of people in extraordinary ways. The power of God was so strong on the church even the biggest opponent to the church was converted. On the road to Damascus, Saul, who was headed there to arrest any who followed Christ and put them in prison, saw a great light and heard Christ Himself speak. Saul did a complete 180. He immediately began to preach and teach. It was amazing to see this man who hated Christians more than any other become one himself. And he was not just a follower of Christ, but he was bold and outspoken. In fact, he was so bold and outspoken, many people wanted to kill him. The disciples with Peter got together and decided that even though Saul, now Paul, was preaching the name of Christ, the way he was doing it was detrimental to the church. They sent him away for the good of the church. He stayed away for a few years until Barnabas was led by the Spirit to give Paul another chance and as we know Paul became the greatest Christian teacher outside of Jesus. But the way we do things matters.
Is it possible to do good things, but with the wrong motives, the wrong attitudes? Absolutely. And in the church, the motives and attitudes in which things are done matter. Attitudes and motives lie under the surface. People may not see them immediately. But eventually, sinful attitudes and motives come out. Many times, they can destroy a ministry, or even a church. Paul taught us that we are not supposed to judge those who do not claim to follow Him. But then He said this about those in the church who calls themselves Christians:
But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.
What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked man from among you.”
1 Corinthians 5:11-13
We can’t justify wrong behavior with good deeds. We can’t justify wrong motives with good deeds. The way we do things matters. The end result can be used for good by the Lord always, but this doesn’t mean that everything that happened in the process pleases God. If man and woman come to church, but the whole time they are driving to church, there is yelling, screaming, and very harsh words, the Lord is glad they are in church and He can certainly speak to them. However, the Lord would not be pleased with the way they spoke to one another. Though He would commend them for going to church, He would definitely not be pleased by their attitude on the way to church. He would not overlook everything they did on the way just because they made it there.
The way we do things matter. This is the whole thing behind submission. A child can obey 150%, but still not be submissive. A wife can go along with her husband’s decision, but still not submit. Submission is an attitude. Submission is the way we do things, even the right things. The Lord even warns us not to pray, but to be careful of the attitude and motives in which we pray. We would all want to say that prayer is always good, but if the way we pray is offensive to the Lord, He does not answer those prayers. Once we understand from Scripture what our attitude should be, we are not held responsible by the Lord just for what we do, but also for the way we do it.