Weekly Devotional-Seeing the heart

But the Lord said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him.  The Lord does not look at the things man looks at.  Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."  
1 Samuel 16:7

There is no question that we live in a society that thrives on appearances.  Whether it is a person, a product, a home or a city, the appearance and it's effect on our socially cultivated thought process is what drives our judgment and ultimate acceptance of whatever we are encountering.  If the Lord viewed us and our lives in this way, we would be lost forever..

The Lord created us in His image, and therefore, we posses a heart unlike anything our own human minds can conceive.  In the face of temptation, greed, lust, jealousy and anger, we are shown that we do not have control over our own thoughts;  but we have the heart that can decide whether or not to act on those evil intrusions.  Temptations cause us to act immorally, and in doing so we continue to separate ourselves from God.  We could be disrespecting a stranger because their body type is different than ours, or disrespecting ourselves because we desire a certain job or status.  Our lack of will to do what is right drives a wedge between us and God, and so, what is right seems impossible.
When we have a strong heart, we can overcome the impossible.

This is why the Lord looks at our hearts rather than our outward appearance.  We as humans are very good at putting on a show and pretending to have it all together, when in reality we are very dark and lost.  Until we begin to have a heart like God we can not get out of this cycle, and until we open our broken heart to God we can not begin to change.  The book of Corinthians tells us that when we are in Christ, we are new. (2Cor 5:17)  What a blessing that we are not obligated to make this change on our own, but rather, successful in clearing our hearts by accepting the sacrifice of Jesus.  This critical first step sets the stage for transformation, and in that change we find the ability to look at others by their heart, not their appearance.

Many people fool us into believing they are good simply because they put their best face forward, follow religious practices, keep a tidy home, or are prominent members of their workplace or community.  We fool ourselves by believing this show.  Let the Lord's message of appearance in 1Samuel, and Jesus' message about showcase prayer in Matthew 6:5 be lessons to live by.  If we care more about appearance than heart, we are still very, very far from God.

Wishing you a wonderful week

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