>When Haman saw that Mordecai would not kneel down or pay him honor, he was enraged. Yet having learned who Mordecai’s people were, he scorned the idea of killing only Mordecai. Instead Haman looked for a way to destroy all Mordecai’s people, the Jews, throughout the whole kingdom of Xerxes. Esther 3:5-6

There was a long dark history between the Amalekites and the Jews. The Amalekites fiercely attacked God’s people as they were headed to the Promised Land in the time of Moses (Deuteronomy 25:17-19). King Saul was commissioned to eliminate the Amalekites, but failed in completing his mission (1 Samuel 15). In fact, an Amalekite claimed to have killed Saul on the battlefield (2 Samuel 1:1-10). Bad blood ran very deep.

While Haman had a particular hatred toward Mordecai, because he refused to bow, Haman’s hatred was generalized to all of the Jewish people. Whether they bowed or not, Haman was determine to wipe them all out, if for any other reason, to eliminate Mordecai. There was no way to reason with the evil in Haman’s heart. His motives were both personal and dark.

Motives are tricky things to manage. In fact, people can so deceive themselves that they will do irrational and outrageous things to justify themselves. The Bible says, “All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the LORD” (Proverbs 16:2). What we don’t understand about ourselves, God sees very clearly. We need to invite God to examine us, and to make sure that our heads are screwed on straight. “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23-24). None of us sees all sides of ourselves.

Every one of us has blind spots. Think about it. Why is it so easy for us to recognize flaws and poor motivations in other people, yet we have a hard time owning up to our own? When people point out our flaws, we often become irritated. After all, they must be wrong. We don’t see that in ourselves. We all need people who love us, but who are not impressed with us, to speak into our lives. If we surround ourselves with people who only tell us what we want to hear, watch out. This is dangerous territory.

Wrong motives become toxic when they interact with our pride. Stubbornness sets in. At this point, failure is the only thing that can cure us. But, who will be the casualties in the process?

What are you working hard at justifying these days? What insecurities does this justification reveal? Who are you seeking out for godly counsel? What is God saying to you?

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