Here is an example, easy to understand: a man named Sam is well known because certainly loves his daughters. He talks about them all the time plays with them, is an openly wonderful parent, no question. he shows their pictures to anyone who will look. He says the most important days of his life, what he is living for and working for, will be to walk them down the aisle and later hold his grandbabies.
But he smokes four packs a day. Hs wife, friends, doctors, daughters, all tell him "please quit, it will destroy you, and you'll never live long enough to see your daughters get married."
He gets emphasema, but still smokes. He develops cancer but still smokes. Finally he is bed-bound and can no longer sneak out to buy a pack, but smoking buddies sometimes stop buy and bring him some. He is dying, but he still can't completely give up what he knows is the cause of all his trouble, even when it is now far far too late. He continues to smoke to his final days and never reaches his lifetime goal, his longest fondest wish, to see his own grandchildren.
All along this process he made choices that harmed his chances to succeed, despite his very clear "intentions". In the end his deeds mattered more than his words, his desires for one thing overcame his wishes for the other.
So were cigarettes more important to him than his daughters? He would of course say no. But his choices clearlt tell that he was unwilling to make the hard choices that would have saved him. He loved or needed or craved his cigarettes more. He made the choices and he continually chose smoking over his daughters, over his own deepest wishes. He never even tried to quit.
In a very similar matter, every time, over a long period, even to the very end, despite the pleas of extremely competent generals who could see the future clearly, the urgings of experienced diplomats, farsighted editorialists and savvy politicians, the leaders of the CSA ignored all warnings and proposals, fighting against them to the bitter end, and time after time, choosing slavery over independence.
Someone wise once said, do not judge anyone by their words alone, but "by their fruits you will know them"