Intent is our aim or purpose or intentions in something. Sometimes we have good intent and sometimes we have bad intent. But, our intentions should always strive to be good and healthy and as Christians, Godly.
We have too many churches and too many Christians who are supposed to wear the name Christian and be the church, yet their intentions are not pure and holy and of God, they are of their own agenda and purposes. That is sin and we need to repent when we have other intentions besides worshipping, honoring, and glorifying God.
Too many times Christians even out in the work place, or our schools, or world do things will ill intent and that does not represent Christ or His church well. We have a responsibility if we are going to be a Christ-follower and claim His name and if we're going to be a body member(part) of His Church Body we must represent Him and His church body well.
None of us are perfect and we all make mistakes, but the difference between mistake and calculated is intent, the difference between accident and on purpose is intent. When people go to trials for murders, drugs, and different things the key to the case is whether they can prove the person's intent or not. Though, we are not on trial, we are under the watchful eye and authority of our God and His desire is for all of us to live with Godly intentions.
This can take on many forms in many situations, but when we serve in any capacity our intent should be use our talents for God, build up His church, and give Him glory not our own personal or egotistical intentions. When we give whether of our time, our talents, or treasures(financially) to God's church our intent should always be to do it and give it to God, not for our own insincere or selfish motives. Also, our intentions should always be to help others and serve others and not be looking for attention, glory, or things for ourselves.
Intent does make the difference. We have to ask ourselves: Am I doing this for me or for God? Am I letting God get the glory or am I seeking my own glory? Am I looking to honor God with my actions or attitude or am I trying to get back at someone, or stroke my own ego, or seeking revenge? We need to check our intentions in all we do to make sure all we do is for God, about God, and honors God. When we don't care who gets the credit, we're doing it for God. When we don't expect things in return we're doing it for God.
Growing as a Christian and becoming mature in our faith takes time and is a process, however we can go a long way to help ourselves by always having intentions be for God and our spiritual growth and not for ourselves or our personal agendas. God deserves our best and we all have a part in His body to do our part for the right reasons. It's not enough to do the right thing, many may do the right thing with the wrong intentions or motives, we must not only do the right things, but we must do them with the right intent.
But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.