“God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7
Are you glad that God looks at what’s inside of us instead of what is on the outside? Maybe. Or, maybe not. It’s really far easier to manage our outward appearance, and how we present ourselves to others than what is on the inside. On the inside, we’ll find all of our wrong thoughts, sinful desires, and impure motives. We’ll find all of the rotten things we’re capable of, even if they never manifest on the outside.
Our culture is so caught up on the outside. How we look, how we talk, what we do, where we live and work, and how we interact with others. We have labels for all of the failures of our insides—racist, bigot, sexist, homophobe. Now some of these labels are deserved because there are racists and bigots in our culture. But we tend to try to fix this problem by helping people say the right thing or do the right thing on the outside. However, the reality is that the core issue is on the inside, where one must be the right thing, first and foremost.
God sees and knows our hearts...that which is underneath all of the outside behavior. In the deep places where no one else can see unless we let them in, God is already there, and He sees us more clearly than we even see ourselves. Maybe it’s time to do a little house cleaning, to look inside and ask ourselves how God may see us in the light of His Word. Are we pursuing His will and ways, down deep, where it counts? Are we sprucing up our outside appearance to mask something on the inside that just isn’t completely right?
God, when it comes to who I am inside, help me to follow You fully, with every area of my life, so that I reflect You in my attitudes, thoughts, actions, and words. Reveal to me the things in my heart that aren’t compatible with who You are. May I be the person You created me to be, from the inside out. In Jesus’ name, amen.