October 2, 2013

“Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things a man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” – 1 Samuel 16:7

Seven years ago I purchased a used vehicle for my oldest daughter that appeared to be in pretty good shape. The body did not have any dings or dents, the paint was good and it did not appear to have any leaks and it even drove well. Unfortunately, within the first four months I had to replace the engine, and most everything else over the next year and half. Last summer I had it painted because it had faded so badly. Today it’s a great car, but with many exchanged greenbacks!

Although 1 Samuel 16 is speaking about man, I certainly wish I had heeded the insight found in this verse before purchasing my daughter’s car. Probably would have saved me a lot of expense!

As for people…it’s always easier to act a certain way around others in an effort to appear to have it all together, as if any of us do. Maybe in this life it’s impossible to be together as some people look! In honest conversations with most men I have found that most are alike…an appearance of “all’s ok,” but in reality there’s tension and fear! Let’s be real — we know things are not as they should be. Something’s wrong and we know it but we hide it behind appearances. Certainly freedom and courage can replace this tension and fear, but finding either requires an honest look into one’s life at some hard things. This honest inside look can lead to real change.

The question is…do you have the courage to face whatever it is that keeps you from changing? Believe it or not you were created to resemble Christ and it is through a deeper relationship with Him that will create change in every part of your life…ultimately moving you toward becoming the person He created you to be. Real change is not only possible; it can be a reality in your life. Most long for a life that is real and full and happy, yet we all think we can make this kind of life happen.

Much like my daughter’s car, the changes needed to make it a great car was painful (expensive in this case), but real change is almost always painful. What’s the old adage? “No pain, no gain!” Know that God will settle for nothing less than deep change in our character, a radical transformation and restructuring of how we approach life. When we ignore what’s happening on the inside, we lose all power to change what we do on the outside in any meaningful way. We simply rearrange rather than change and in doing so, we never become the transformed person God call us to be. Never experiencing freedom from destructive behavior.

Christ desires all to face reality as it is, including all the fears, hurts, resentments and self-protective motives (appearances) we work so hard to keep out of sight, and emerge as changed people. Not pretenders, nor perfect! Changed for the better! What will you do?