I can remember times when I received a gift that I would not have chosen for myself. At those times I certainly thought to myself that “it was the thought that counts.” I was happy that the gift-giver thought of me at all. Then there have been times when my children have not given me a gift and then chose to tell me all about what they were going to give me. They would then follow it up by saying, “it was the thought that really counts.” Really!?! I don’t think so. I could think of sending my wife on a cruise, but that is not in any way the same as going on the cruise. I think there are times when all of us think we are more generous than we are, simply because we were thinking about being generous.
This way of thinking can be dangerous. Jesus teaches us to say what we mean and mean what we say. The intentionality of our actions is important, but intentionality without action is meaningless. How we act and what we give serves as evidence of our intentions and indicates where our heart truly lies. If we fool ourselves into thinking we are someone we are not, it can become difficult to see the truth. We need to look for the fruit in our lives. We need to make sure our desires and thoughts are moving us to act. You know that other saying about intentions, don’t you? Don’t pave the road to a place no one wants to end up with your intentions. Instead, let your intentions and actions lead others to another place where Jesus can be found.
– Tracy Earl Welliver