If you believe that the road to hell is paved with good intentions, then is the road to heaven paved with bad intentions?
St Bernard of Clairvaux (1150?) wrote that “hell is full of good wishes and desires,” which is possibly where the depressing idiom originates. I disagree with using the word good. Christ was clear on the meaning of good, and anything good will not be in hell.
The title of this post is the message I teach my children. What if I taught them that I do not care what they were trying to do but only what they did, then I would be telling them that their intentions do not matter. If that is so, why do we care that David had a heart after God’s. Are intentions not matters of the heart!
For those who believe the ends justify the means, this message of failed good intentions is part of the ends. This brings to mind robbing Peter to pay Paul.
I think what people are trying to say is that if our good intentions produce bad results, we should learn how to improve. Maybe some would say that it is not good enough to have good intentions, you have to take action.
I agree with both of the previous arguments, however what is being communicated is that method always trumps motive. My father-in-law is famous for reminding people to separate motive from method. I have met some people with pure motives and horrible methods. I have also met people who have mastered their method but they have ulterior motives.
To be exact, good intentions plus good works are the goal, but God will still take into account our heart.
The condition and desires of your heart matter, because the road to God is paved with the purity of heart.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” Matthew 5:8
Question: Are you as lenient on the intentions of others as you are on your own?