What’s in the Heart?

October 21, 2021 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Personal Growth

By Peter Lundell –

A couple of years ago I said the invocation at a city council meeting. After me came the County Tax Assessor, who told us how well our city’s property values had held up during the recession. As he spoke I wished I were so handsome, could exude such confidence, be so successful, speak with such resonance, and be so debonair.

Then I accepted myself for who I am.

But I still thought it would be nice to be like him.

On the way out we greeted and complimented each other. It felt good.

Then a scandal unfolded during a yearlong investigation. Now this same man has been arrested on charges of conspiracy, misappropriation of public funds, bribery, and perjury. The district attorney describes the case as the biggest corruption scandal involving a county official in decades.

It leaves me in silence.

I had been so impressed with the outside. But what did I not see? What was covered up that I didn’t even think to question? Not that I, or anyone else could have known, but I was speechless at how captivated I’d been by the appearance, while beneath the surface there allegedly thrived darkness and conniving.

Will I learn from this? I hope so.

First Samuel 16:7 stung me: “Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” After all my Bible knowledge and life experience, I still looked at the outward appearance. How much more my eyes, my mind, my heart need to grow!

And what of my own life? Am I looking at my own appearance? God doesn’t. He looks at my heart.

Every day we’re surrounded by attitudes and advertisements that focus on appearance. Lies. All lies. Let’s be wise and focus on the heart—both our own and others’.

PRAYER: Lord, keep me wise to look at what You look at, beyond appearances and ways humans try to impress. Keep my eyes on the heart—both other people’s and my own.

“When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, “Surely the LORD’S anointed stands here before the LORD.” 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 16:6-7 NIV).

About Peter Lundell

Peter Lundell, author of Prayer Power and other books, is a writer, pastor, and Bible college teacher. At www.PeterLundell.com you can see his books, subscribe to his inspirational “Connections,” and get free downloads of many articles, parables, and short stories.
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