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Inside matters

God judges persons differently than humans do. Men and women look at the face; God looks into the heart. (I Samuel 16:7)

If God 'evaluated' us as most humans 'evaluate' us, we'd be doomed! God has a way of seeing past the superficial to the real - the genuine side of human character. Too many times we are more concerned with the way others 'see' us or 'judge' us - what their 'impression' is of our character. One thing I learned in all my years of management - a person can look good on paper and be totally different up close and personal. They can put forth an 'image' of what they hope to portray that will get them the job, but when it comes to the day to day work - where the rubber meets the road - they are just not all their 'portrayed image' suggests. 

We must learn to look at others the way God sees them - not the way society tells us to see them. We must allow God to show us the good in others - instead of always looking for the bad. Easier said than done - I know we 'see' what others allow us to see most of the time and seldom get a look at the 'true individual' on the inside. It is a rare treat to encounter a truly genuine individual. The heart of a man is revealed in their actions. An ingenuine individual can 'mimic' good actions, but they lack the enthusiasm that is present when those same actions are performed from a heart that is genuine and true.

I know scripture reminds us not to judge one another - to stop comparing ourselves to other flawed individuals - but we all do it to some degree whether we know it or not. We see a person on the side of the road holding a cardboard sign declaring they need gas money. At that moment, we 'judge' the individual. If we have seen them there for the past two weeks, holding the same sign, wearing different clothes each day, we might 'judge' them 'ingenuine' in their appeal for help. Why? We are suspicious they panhandle for a living, not because they need a couple bucks for gas to make it to their next destination. 

This type of 'evaluation' may just be wisdom - the ability to see there is a bit of insincerity in the person's appeal for monies. We don't always 'see' others clearly, though. Sometimes we see one thing, make a snap judgment the individual must be a certain way, and then hold onto that impression. It could have been an off day, a moment where they just 'misbehaved'. To form a 'permanent' or lasting judgment of the individual based upon one set of actions is not always accurate. I think this is why God looks at the whole of the character - at the mind, will, emotions - the heart of the individual.

If God judged us based upon one set of actions he observed within us rather than the multiple actions he saw when his Son endured the shame of the cross, we'd be doomed! God is the only true 'judge' of character - the best we can do is ask him to reveal the heart of the individual to us. As he does, we might just see the individually a little differently - knowing we have allowed what we see on the outside to cloud what really is on the inside. Just sayin!


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