Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Oh, the Heart...

1 Samuel 16:7 

“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."
Why is this such a hard concept to grasp? I don’t know very many people who don’t struggle with this reality on a daily basis. We don’t have to be obsessed with self to forget the importance of a clean heart. We don’t have to be overly vain or self-centered to fool ourselves into thinking the condition of our heart is under lock and key – not visible to God or anyone else.

God looks at our heart because He knows therein lies our true self. The condition of that vital “organ” is the barometer for everything else we do and say. If it is covered with layers of fear, bitterness, unforgiveness, jealousy or even indifference, the heart will be uglier than any imaginable disfigurement of our outward appearance.

When beauty, youth and robustness are the standards we use to measure our value or someone else’s value, we are dangerously missing the mark. I say dangerous because when we are distracted from the true measure of a man, we cannot meet their needs. We may miss what God is calling us to do in and for the world.

Pray every day for the eyes of discernment – the eyes that see others as God sees them. And even to see our own hearts for the condition they are in. Only then can we effectively make an eternal difference.