Thursday, August 16, 2007

A Matter of the Heart

“But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not at his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.” ~ 1 Samuel 16:7

Most of the times, we look at the “outside” of a person. We see the person’s physical appearance, his capabilities, his talents, his strengths, his weakness, his failures. We judge people before we really know them, and sometimes even before we meet them. Most of the time, we are so wrapped up by the image we see in others that we forget to see them for who and what they really are.

On the other hand, it’s not just other people’s “outsides” that we look at. We, ourselves, tend to focus more on what other people see outside us than what they see inside us. We create in us someone who really isn't us so people can accept us, but in doing so, deceive ourselves more than we deceive the people we know. We are so intent on becoming someone, on gaining an identity - we dress in the most fashionable clothes, we spend so much time and money on unnecessary things, we become so absorbed in trying to be perfect…that we forget that it’s the heart that matters most. We forget that God does not look at our fancy clothes, God does not look out our talents, our abilities. We forget that God looks at our hearts.

It’s hard to be your true self, especially since our culture says that it’s okay to be someone you’re not. People always put on this mask that hides everything they really are. When you ride a bus, when you walk through the malls, you see people everywhere and all of them are desperately trying to be who they’re not, and trying to hide who they really are. That’s why so many teenagers do weird things to there bodies. To get attention. To become known. To create an identity for themselves. But deep down inside, they’re crying for help. They want to be who they really are, they’re tired of whom they’ve become, but they don’t know how to get out of it.

As Christians, it is important that we be who God made us to be. And it is important that we help other people realize who God made them to be. It is important that we focus on developing a heart for the Lord. As God’s children we should focus on filling our hearts with love rather than filling our minds with worldliness. As ambassadors for Christ, we should focus on being more like Him than anyone else in the world.
We should fill our hearts and our lives with the fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-23, 25). We should work on demonstrating love, kindness, patience, self-control, and all those other characteristics in our lives.
We should see other people the way God sees them - with love.

When you see someone, do you try to see his heart or do you tend to look at what you can just see on the surface? Do you end up judging a person just by what you see?
Do you spend your time worrying about how people see you? Do you work on how you look just to impress others? Or do you focus on shaping your heart after God’s own?

In this present world, it is usual to judge people by their appearances. It is usual to criticize them by what we see on the outside. In our generation, it usual to want to become somebody. But as God’s children, we must remember it's the heart we should work on, and it's the heart we should try to see.

"Man sees the outside, but God sees the heart."

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

The Rebelution Tour Video

College - A New Journey

They say that "every journey begins with a single step."
I took my first step last June, when college started. For me, having been homeschooled all my life, it was a very big step. A step of faith into the new world, a step into a "place" where I had never gone before.

The first few weeks were a challenge. I wasn't used to traveling, I wasn't used to doing school and then having homework (the "foreign language" to homeschoolers!). There were times when I felt like giving up, times when I felt like I just couldn't take it anymore. I would go home, frustrated by the many things I had to do yet not know where to start.

Aside from that, I had no time to sleep, no time to play with my brothers and sisters, no time to do my chores (which made me feel so guilty).

Nevertheless, I remembered Philippians 4:13. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." I've quoted that verse a million times, said it over and over again, and I believe it.

I learned so many things during the first few weeks of school. God taught me to enjoy every moment in life, including the long bus rides and the big puddles after the rain. I also learned to find my strength in Him.

My long journey has just begun...but I'm looking forward to learning more things every step of the way. I know that God placed me here for a purpose, and I know that He will be with me all the way.

Alyssa C.