Saturday, March 26, 2011

God Looks at the Heart

"...People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart; at a person's thoughts and intentions" (1 Samuel 16:17).

Samuel had a great responsibility.  He was to anoint the next king of Israel.  As he called up the sons of Jesse, he made a judgment based on the outside.  God spoke to Samuel that the outside means nothing if it's not backed up by what's on the inside.  The heart, the seat of all emotions, passions, and desires, is what sets the course of one's life.  The reflection of his heart is the direction of his life.

People judge most everything by what it looks like on the outside.  It can be comical walking through the produce section of any grocery store.  One thing you will certainly find is people picking up fruits and vegetables, turning them over, smelling them, weighing them, and squeezing them. They are doing their best to determine the inside based on the outside.  Sometimes it works, and sometimes they find out that what they were hoping for and expecting was different from what they actually had.

In our lives, we need to make sure that the inside and the outside match.  How is our heart?  Are our thoughts, motives, and attitudes pure?  Everything that we do or say is to be an overflow of our relationship with God.  Because, it doesn't matter so much what people see in us, it's what HE sees in us.  He sees beyond the outside.  He looks past the facade.  He sees the heart.

How is your heart today?  If you're not sure, take a moment to test it.  How are the words that come out of your mouth?  Are they foul?  Are they drenched with arrogance, negativity, or sarcasm?  Are you building people up, or more interested in tearing them down?  What about your mind?  What do you spend your time thinking about?  Is your attitude OK?  Are you doing anything that would be considered a "no-go" as far as God is concerned?  What are you looking at?  What are you spending your time doing?  It doesn't matter what we leave "people" thinking about who we are, what we say, or what we're doing.  What does HE think?  He sees the heart!

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