Proverbs 16:2, All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the Lord weigheth the spirits.
Remember the evangelist who preached here many years ago when he used the phrase, "All means all and that's all, all means!" dozens of times?
Here we see the wise man use the word "all" when he talks about the ways of a man. The ways of a man, the ways of a woman!
The ways of a person is the method or plan of life and conduct or the habitual manner of a person; the direction that he is going. Each one of us has unique ways.
This verse tells us that we all think, and that means you and it means me, that we all think that the ways that we go are clean ways.
We see the ways through our eyes as right ways.
This does not mean that from time to time we don't recognize our failure in a certain instance or occurance.
We recognize that we sin from time to time. We all know that in some activity in which we partook, that activity was not clean.
But this verse is not talking about a one time occurrence.
It is talking about our way, our habitual manner, our plan of life, our repetitive habits.
Our mind is clever. It works diligently and it works continuously to convince us that our ways, our manner of life or habitual habits are clean.
It must do that for its self preservation. The heart is deceitful and your heart convinces you that your ways are clean.
Our eyes tell us that our ways are clean because our eyes see only what our heart wants them to see.
We do not have 20-20 vision when it comes to knowing ourselves. In fact we are blind to knowing our own heart.
The heart has so disguised itself and covered itself from the eyes that the eyes see something completely different when they look at the heart. They see clean ways.
But cleanliness requires washing. The heart develops a whitewash.
It is good at whitewashing our way but the whitewash is not a permanent wash. It must be continually applied.
Like the latest detergent on the market, the heart must develop more sophisticated and subtle whitewashes as we get older and more worldly wise.
So this is the situation we find ourselves in. But we are blessed because the word of God tells us this is so.
Without this wisdom from this book we would not have the ability to know this truth.
We would continue to be deceived without ever knowing that this is happening. The heart is that good in it's deceit.
This verse continues by telling us that the Lord weighs the spirits. What does this mean?
Weigh means to measure. Weigh means to compare to a standard.
God weighs our spirits and finds them wanting. Talk about a fine scale. Talk about fine measurement.
Scientists can weigh physical things too small to be seen but here we see that God is capable of measuring spiritual things.
He even has a scale that weighs our spirits.
What is being talked about here. Our spirits? Do we have more than one spirit?
Look at the context of the use of this word, spirits. Man sees cleaniness in all his ways.
God does not see man's ways in the same light. He has total and unbiased observation .
This word "spirits" in this context means; that which moves a person to have the ways he or she has.
These are the spirits that a person has that we would call the motivators, the motors of a person.
What makes him or her go. We say "What makes him tick?"
So we can paraphrase the last part of this verse by saying the Lord weighs the motives.
Why does the person do the kind deed? Why does the man say I love you to the woman?
Why does the person go to the altar in an outwardly repentant attitude?
Why do you put money in the collection plate? What is your spirit of giving?
Is it so you can get something in return?
Are your ways under girded with a spirit of greed? a revengeful spirit? a generous spirit? or a meek and quiet spirit?
This is what God is interested in. He weighs the spirits. He discerns the heart.
This is expressed in the last part of Hebrews 4:12, where it says that, the word of God is ....a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. He knows the motives of why you do what you do.
You think all your ways are clean and some ways may be, but God knows which is which.
Don't be a fool and think it is any different with you. Know about yourself by believing what God says about your self.
Know about your heart by believing what God says about your heart.
If you will, then you are teachable. If you will not you are not teachable and you will not grow.