1 Samuel 17:28
“And Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spake unto the men; and Eliab’s anger was kindled against David, and he said, Why camest thou down hither? and with whom hast thou left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know thy pride, and the naughtiness of thine heart; for thou art come down that thou mightest see the battle.”
The verse above is part of the dialogue between David and his elder brother, Eliab. David simply asked a question about what would happen to the man who agreed to go up and fight against Goliath. It was this question that caused Eliab to say, “…I know thy pride, and the naughtiness of thine heart…” Most likely, David’s question brought conviction to Eliab’s heart. Eliab knew that he should have quickly stood up against Goliath, but he ran in fear like the rest of Israel.
Eliab’s mistake in the verse above was that he thought he knew the motives of David’s heart, which we know that his judgment of David’s motives was wrong. David didn’t go to the battle to see the battle, but he went to the battle because his father told him to go so that he could bring them a care package. David’s heart was not filled with pride, but his heart was filled with a love for God that was angered that nobody stood up to defend God’s name. Eliab’s judgment of David’s motives was wrong from every aspect.
One of the great mistakes many people make is they try to judge another’s motives, only to find later on that their judgment was wrong. Many people have been maligned because someone spread rumors that were based on the judgment of one’s motives. Let me give you a few thoughts about the danger of judging one’s motives.
First, nobody can judge the motives of another. It doesn’t matter how well you know a person; you cannot know the motives of another’s heart. Eliab knew David very well because they were brothers, but he was wrong with his judgment. To think that you can know the motives of another person is to make yourself equal with God because only God knows the motives of one’s heart. You are living in dangerous territory when you begin to judge another’s motives because you are trying to take the place of God.
Second, the surroundings of one’s actions don’t dictate one’s motives. One mistake that people make is that they judge the motives of another because of a couple of actions they have done. Again, you don’t know the motives of one’s heart. You would be wise to avoid making judgments of another’s motives just because you think the circumstances dictate your judgment to be right.
Third, judging another person’s motives is a revelation of the pride in the heart of the one who judged. To say that you know what the motives of another person are all about is to say that you can see the heart of a person. You can’t see anyone’s heart, and only your pride would cause you to judge another’s motives.
My friend, you would be wise not to judge the motives of someone’s statement or actions. I am not saying that you have to be gullible, but I am saying that you are wrong to judge another’s motives. God is very capable of revealing the wrong motives of a person. You would be wise to take care of yourself and your motives instead of trying to be God and judge another’s motives. Judging motives only leads to strife; therefore, stop judging the motives of others and let God be the judge of motives.