TODAY’S SIGNATURE VERSE ••• For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7b NKJV)
PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• I have a watermelon on my kitchen counter that I’m going to cut today. I love watermelon. So does my dog, Beth. So we’ll both have a treat this afternoon.
If you’re looking to pick the best watermelon, you want the ones with a yellow field spot and a dried, brownish stem. That means it was fully ripened on the vine. Dark brownish weblike spots are another great indicator of a delicious watermelon. And you want the ones with dull skin, not shiny skin. Those are your sweetest and juiciest watermelons. Those are the ones your dog will make the biggest mess eating, but you won’t care because she deserves her treat.
Watermelon is the perfect summer snack. But for the most part — the best watermelons aren’t that attractive. They are smaller, heavier, and blotchy, with the less than ideal version of the picture-perfect, gigantic, shiny green watermelons that inspire everything from pool floats to dinner dishes to Kate Spade handbags.
So we don’t judge the outside of the watermelon because it’s what is inside that really matters.
How I wish we had the same understanding of people.
We tend to look for the most attractive people, assuming they are “smarter,” “cooler,” “more successful,” and maybe even “better.” But God looks at a person differently… He doesn’t stop at the skin-deep characteristics of a person but looks at the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7 says, “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’”
Our world has gotten more entrenched in the surface-level assumptions of people in recent years, and unfortunately, many churches have, too. We have to do better.
But it’s more than assuming the best of people. We can’t make judgment calls about a person’s heart because 1) we can’t see their hearts, and 2) the Lord also said, “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it? I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give every man according to his ways, According to the fruit of his doings” (Jeremiah 17:9-10).
So if we know the outward appearance is superficial, and the heart is desperately wicked, who stands a chance? Our hearts are sinful, and we are broken.
The most amazing news, though, is this: “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). And when we accept Jesus as Lord and Savior of our lives, He replaces our hearts of stone with hearts of flesh (Ezekiel 36:25-27), and He creates a clean heart in us (Psalm 51:10).
And with our heart transformations, God’s own Holy Spirit equips us with the most beautiful fruit — love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).
Sure, many unbelievers demonstrate some of these characteristics. We are all made in the image of God, and these are His characteristics, too. So even without God, people can show some degree of these attributes. But they will never be as beautifully magnified as they are when they are seen in a life redeemed by Jesus!
That’s when we can see a person beyond skin deep. When a life is lived for Christ, His light shines from us. It won’t matter what the outside looks like. The best part is on the inside.
Today, as you pray, thank God that He is capable of transforming our hearts and forgiving us for our sins! Ask the Holy Spirit to help you demonstrate His fruits to everyone you interact with today. Ask Him to help you see past the superficial when you interact with others and see them as Jesus does.
SHARING ••• My Grace-Full Life is written by Denise Heidel. You are welcome to share anything I write, but please credit my writing and graphics accordingly. Visit www.MyGraceFullLife.com to read past blogs. Subscribe through my website to have My Grace-Full Life delivered to your email. You can unsubscribe at any time. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from the NKJV translation.