It always comes back to "Why?"
"The Word of God is… a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart" (Hebrews 4:12).
What we do matters, that is, our thoughts, words, actions, and relating to God and others. Our Heavenly Father is intensely devoted to our doings. "This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men" (Titus 3:8). No Biblical Christianity exists that fails to strongly emphasis our doings, again, both the mental, volitional, and physical expressions that result from the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ in our lives. "Ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light" (Ephesians 5:8).
However, our Heavenly Father works no less to direct our attention to our motivations, that is, to "Why?". It is more than possible to do right thing, yes, even the Biblically prescribed thing. However, if we do what we do for the wrong reason, we are wrong. Consider the Pharisees. History records that their outward practices would indicate they were as godly a sect as ever existed. The Lord Jesus severely rebuked them, however, regarding their motivation: "All their works they do to be seen of men" (Matthew 23:5). Thus, we learn that much prayer, Scriptural emphasis, outward works of charity, and appearances of the most ardent worship can actually mask the existence of an utterly wrong "Why?". "The Lord looketh on the heart" declared God to Samuel (I Samuel 16:7). He seeks first and foremost to find genuine Christ-wrought motivation because if the "Why?" is right, the "What" will inevitably follow.
How do we know if our "Why?" is sincere and true? First, we prayerfully keep the matter before the Lord, asking for His examination of our motives. "Search me, o God, and know my heart. Try me and know my thoughts. See if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting: (Psalm 139:23-24). We cannot know ourselves apart from Divine guidance and searching. We heed the Scriptural command to "examine yourselves" (II Corinthians 13:5). However, we do so by looking unto the One who alone sees into the very center of our hearts. "Examine me, o Lord, and prove me. Try (test) my reins and my heart" (Psalm 26:2).
We also keep our hearts and minds near the Word of God. The sword of the Spirit cleaves and penetrates into our thoughts and intentions. Consistent Bible reading and consideration makes far more likely the consistent awareness of the true nature of our "Why?" The Spirit of God illuminates the Scriptures, testing our hearts in order to reveal whether what we do flows from His bestowal of the indwelling love of Christ, or rather from fleshly self-centered motivation. "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness" (II Timothy 3:16).
We also stay in close proximity to devoted brothers and sisters in Christ. "Exhort one another daily" commanded the writer of Hebrews in the knowledge that the fellowship of the saints provides a powerful influence regarding both our motives and our doings (Hebrews 3:13). By example and word, fellow Christians help us to know whether we do we what we do for reasons wrought in our hearts by God.
What we do matters. Why we do it matters no less. Only the Lord knows the latter, and only He can lead and enable us to purity of motive. May we keep ourselves continually before His examination regarding "the thoughts and intents of the heart". Just three letters: W-h-y. They must nevertheless fill our considerations and prayers regarding our walk with the Lord.
"I the Lord search the heart."
Weekly Memory Verse
"The hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth."