It’s a hard one to swallow. You may have all the good intentions in the world and may sincerely wish to make someone happy, but if you go against their express desire, they most definitely won’t be pleased.Good intentions don’t give you a free pass Like the time I wanted to surprise my parents for their anniversary, so I cut up some precious, original photos to turn into a collage. I didn’t ensure that there were doubles, nor did I ask permission to irreversibly snip their sentimental pictures into the design that I saw fit. Great intentions, but I nevertheless caused some damage.

Imagine you decided to eat a nourishing meal and intend to direct the energy you derived from that meal to concentrate on a stimulating Torah class. But if that very food that you are consuming is not of the kosher variety, then even though you had altruistic intentions, it can cause spiritual damage. The non-kosher food becomes part of your flesh and blood, and even if you use the energy derived from it to learn Torah or have energy to pray, the kelippot (evil spiritual forces) have a handle on the food and the energy you got from it.

So while you can upgrade a mundane act into a holy one by consciously inserting a good intention (like going shopping to have nice clothing to wear on Shabbat), good intentions don’t give you a free “pass” to go against G‑d’s will.

Tanya Bit: Serving G‑d means doing what He wants on His terms.

(Inspired from Chapter 8 of Tanya)