From everyone who gives willingly with his heart you shall take My offering.  Exodus 25:2

But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.  Matthew 5:28

We have to understand that it starts in the heart.  Whether in the old testament or the new testament the focus is the same.  It is not that you do good.  It is why are you doing good.  Some might say why does it matter; only that good is being done.  If a bank were to take money from a drug lord and use it to make loans to the poor, because the poor were being helped would it matter where it was coming from?  It depends on if our view is just now or eternal.

Having a positive outcome when the intention is to deceive, hide or otherwise negative intent will be short lived in that person’s life.  Positive  outcomes can’t be sustained with negative intent.  The heart will grow cold and there is little or no connection to Our Heavenly Father.  He and Jesus Christ are concerned with the eternal; which means they are concerned with what can be sustained.  The heart that starts with the intent to do good is much more likely to not only have positive outcomes but to be able to sustain and repeat those positive outcomes over time.

Having the correct intent also provides for the ability to really repent.  For God knows that even when we have the right heart the outcome will not always be positive.  That is what sin is all about.  But when the heart is sound (the house built on rock) then when the waves of sin beat against it; it will not fall.

What do we take from this?  First, it will take time to know your heart.  You may have been doing the same things over and over again.  Maybe you give to a charity or your church, you volunteer, you try to insure you are always truthful.  The question is why do you do that.  Do you do that to get praise from others or to offset some other vice you have or even peer pressure?  Do you even know?  That is the most important question and it takes time and effort.

You have to take the time to truthfully reflect on what you do.  And while you might think of reflection like looking in the mirror, it is deeper than that.  For the image in the mirror is the outside.  We have to be able to look in the inside, to bring light to the dark areas of our soul to understand what we are doing and why.

Finally understand we are not alone in this.  Jesus Christ came to earth and experienced life as we experience it.  He understands temptations and though He knew no failure He understands where failure comes from.  And from His and our Heavenly Father, He promised the counselor, the Holy Spirit to come and dwell with us to give us the power to withstand the evil and bring ourselves to the right intent.

If you start with the correct why; the best what will happen.