For the Lord sees not as man sees;
Take a minute to reflect on the people in your life. How many of them do you think are truly friends; have the best intentions for you, would vouch for you, would give you the clothes off their back if need be, would be a shoulder to cry on, would cheer you on, would celebrate you, would defend you, would be patient with you in those silent moments when you ache too much to think or talk?
Now, take another minute, and think about the people in your life that you would do those same things for.
For man looks on the outward appearance…
A smile hides a lot of things…feelings, emotions, and thoughts.
Smiles, as beautiful and welcoming as they are, can be deceptive. They can lure you into believing you are home until the same mouth that formed the smile throws daggers at you in form of words.
For the longest time,
I smiled to hide feelings
I smiled to conceal thoughts
I smiled because it was easier than crying
I smiled because I appeared strong
I smiled because I was told it was beautiful
I smiled for acceptance
I smiled for survival
…But the Lord looks on the heart 1 Samuel 16:7
It gets tiring putting up a face. With a new face for each person and each day, you run the risk of putting on the wrong face for the wrong person on the wrong day. You smile with people you would rather slap, hug people you would rather stab and help people you would rather see fall.
You may be able to deceive man, but God? You are not close to being that advanced. It’s only a matter of time before “fake” is made out.
If people could see my heart, would it be as appealing as my outward appearance? This question nagged at me for a while. So I decided to get to know my heart.
I sat down and penned all my insecurities and fears. Off course, once I opened up myself to the voice of insecurity, it was a floodgate. Very exhausting, but it needed to be done. Insecurities have a way of creating a new personality that feeds off putting down perceived competition. Whether it is that you think the next girl is prettier, has a better body, has nice designer clothes, is more loved by friends or has it more together, you either find ways to attach something negative to the person or play up a wrong he/she has done.
If I have nothing else, I need my heart to be both pure and honest. When I say you look lovely today, it is not a covert way of saying you need to fix your face, it truly means you look lovely today, no buts. When I say congratulations, I mean just congratulations, without a “but I wish it was me.” Seems so small, so trivial, but these things matter.
For they loved the approval and the praise and the glory that come from men [instead of and] more than the glory that comes from God. [They valued their credit with men more than their credit with God John 12:43
When you live for God, you are focused on running your own race. You are not distracted by “the others”. When you feed off and live for the praises of man, you zig-zag into the lanes of others because you have now made life a competition. To you, its a matter of who will get to the finish line first…I want to be noticed first. How very shortsighted. Have you ever thought about what happens after you reach the finish line of the next persons lane? What if what awaits you pales in comparison to what you would have gotten if you had remained on your own lane? Wouldn’t life be much simpler if you focused on your journey while being inspired by the accomplishments of others? Comparison breeds insecurities, aspiration breeds drive/motivation/focus.
Do I ever feel less than? Off course.
But only when I allow myself become distracted by playing the comparison game. When you are accepting of self, it is easier to love, easier to forgive, easier to be honest, easier to be happy, easier to compliment, easier to celebrate others, easier to aspire, easier to achieve, easier to bridle your tongue, easier to just be.
The first time (in my adult life) I remember having a hearty laugh, I knew. It rocked my insides, almost like I could feel my heart dancing, leaping for joy, because now it had life. It was re-connected to the rest of me.
I have made a habit of having heart check sessions. I always want to be at peace with my thoughts, words and action, so I have no qualms doing the work needed to maintain my peace.
What is the intent behind your actions? Why do you do the things that you do?
What is the state of your heart?
Do a heart check.