THEY MEANT WELL
T. PIERCE BROWN
In Matthew 9:27-31 there is a story of two blind men who were healed by Jesus. Verses 30 & 31 read, ” And their eyes were opened, And Jesus strictly charged them, saying, see that no man know it. But they went forth, and spread abroad his fame in all that land.” There are several occasions when Jesus charged someone not to tell of what had happened. We can sympathize with their feelings. In fact, we wonder how so many who have been blinded by prejudice or false doctrine and have been given sight by the power of the gospel can keep from telling others about it. However, Jesus had a reason for asking them to be quiet. He was apparently hindered from doing the primary work of preaching and teaching by the multitudes that flocked to him to get something from him, or to see him do a miracle. Our lesson now is: no matter how they felt, or what human reasoning they may have used, or in spite of the fact that they may have had the highest motives, they disobeyed the Lord and hindered his work when they failed to obey Him.
There are many examples of persons who meant well, but in some cases suffered severe consequences for their disobedience. It may shock us to see a man like Uzzah (2 Samuel 6:7) who was apparently only trying to keep the ark from harm when the oxen stumbled. It may be that Saul meant well when he brought back King Agag and the best of the animals to offer in sacrifice to God, but Samuel said, “To obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams” (1 Samuel 15:22). He lost his kingdom and the favor of God, regardless of how well he may have meant to do. Even Saul of Tarsus meant well when he persecuted Christians and gave his voice in condemning them to death (Acts 23:1, 24:16). That did not keep him from being classified as chief of sinners (1 Timothy1:15).
We certainly should always have the proper motives, and mean to do well. However, it is never satisfactory to have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge (Romans 10:2). In every case this leaves us open to the danger of trying to establish our own righteousness and not submitting to the righteousness of God. Any teacher that leaves you the impression that God will excuse and overlook your sin provided you mean well is leading you astray.