I had to laugh when I saw this. D.N.R. It’s kind of obvious what it stands for, especially with where it’s located. The hope is that there will be no doubt about this man’s intentions when his life is on the line.
But as I looked again, it also occurred to me What if the DNR image is actually this person’s initials rather than a directive? What if his name is David Nicholas Rothchild? That changes everything.
Do good intentions outweigh mistakes?
Sometimes we are so clear in our thinking that we believe our expressions of those thoughts are just as clear. It’s happened to me.
Maybe I don’t finish a sentence in a text. Or maybe my to-do list for the hubster is missing an item. Though my intentions in that text were clear to me, if I wasn’t clear in the message, the intention is lost. Same with the to-do list. My head may have been dictating everything that needed to be done but if it doesn’t make it to the list, whose fault is it that it doesn’t get done?
I often think my intentions should outweigh any mistake I make on that to-do list or with missing info in the text. After all, I know what I meant.
And though in those two cases my intentions may have been good, it isn’t always that way, is it? Sometimes we fool ourselves into believing what we are doing is with a pure heart when sometimes it’s not. Think of the person at a prayer meeting giving a prayer “request” that is actually mostly gossip. Not very pure intention there.
Or the person who convinces themselves that their need is more important than someone else’s so they resort to trickery to achieve their goal. Today I kind of did that. All right, I actually did that. I was in a hurry to get to a doctor’s appointment but decided to make a quick stop at Hobby Lobby first.
I failed the test.
As I walked in, I noticed the long line at the only cash register in action. It didn’t bother me too much because I still had to go find the perfect card to send someone. My hope was that there would be more cashiers working when I finally made my way to the front.
Turns out, there was still only one cashier. And though the line was much shorter, I noticed a woman nearby making her way to that cashier with a full cart. Compared to my one greeting card and the fact that I needed to get to my appointment, I decided I could just walk a little faster and it wouldn’t look like I was cutting in line. Especially, if I looked elsewhere, pretending I didn’t see her.
I actually did walk faster than her and by the time I got in line, I noticed she had found something else to look at and potentially purchase. Whew. I dodged that one…or did I?
Unfortunately, the intent of my heart was still wrong, still selfish, still ungodly. How much better it would have been if I allowed her to make her way to the front before me. It wouldn’t have mattered if she meandered off to purchase something else; my conscience would have been clear.
Such a little thing, seemingly insignificant. But boy oh boy did I catch a view of my heart. And I didn’t like what I saw. We are reminded that:
People may be right in their own eyes, but the LORD examines their heart. (Proverbs 21:2)
Ouch. Today, it wasn’t only God examining my heart; it was myself as well. And I failed the test.
(NOTE: the irony of my Hobby Lobby visit was that once I got to the doctor’s office, they were running late and I waited 75 minutes before being brought back to the exam room!!!)
Father, it’s scary that you know our heart. We are so good at deceiving ourselves that when confronted with our less-than-good intentions it sometimes surprises us. Yet most times we know we failed. And with that knowledge comes the hurts in also knowing we’ve disappointed you. Holy Spirit, help us to respond quicker to You when you point out these things. Help us to be fast to repent. Remind us that as we walk out our salvation, the ultimate goal is to become more like you.