It is possible for us to have an appearance of obedience without true obedience. That’s because God does not only take our behavior into consideration, but also our thoughts and motives. That’s why the Bible tells us that although man looks at the outward appearance to make judgments about his fellow man, God looks at the heart to draw His conclusions. For God, heart matters are the heart of the matter.
At this point many people will feel hypocritical, recognizing that their heart and their behavior don’t always perfectly align. If this is your story, don’t seek to live more authentically by lowering your behavior to match your heart. Rather, pray and ask God to cleanse your heart and your mind to match your shiny veneer. Purity of motive, not alignment of deeds to our impure motives, is the goal that honors God.