It’s what’s inside that matters! A lesson from ugly bananas, part 2.
In the last post, I talked about the unattractive, yet very tasty bananas and we learned that, when we trust Christ for salvation, God changes our naturally deceitful and wicked hearts and makes them new. When He looks at us, He sees us as He sees His Son, perfect in His sight.
Our hearts, however, are just as important after we are saved. We’re not yet home in heaven, and the flesh – the part that we battle with day by day – is still with us. The devil also tries to attack us, and we must be on the alert. In Ephesians 6:14, we are instructed to put on the breastplate of righteousness, that piece of armour to protect the heart. Guarding our hearts takes work, but is exceedingly important. When we are saved, we want to live for God, to do the things that please Him.
The Bible has a lot to say about what’s outside and what’s inside. In Proverbs 31:30 we read that ‘favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.’ In 1 Peter 3:3-4, the women are instructed not to let their adornment be merely outward, but rather ‘the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God’ (NKJV).
Although these verses are about women, the principle applies to men too. Everyone is under extreme pressure to measure up, to follow trends and look good. We need to be reminded that it’s what’s inside that counts. What God finds very precious is not that we are beautiful or handsome, that we have the latest hairstyle, or a wardrobe full of trendy clothes. Instead, it is that we live a godly life – a life that pleases Him.
Of course, God doesn’t mean for us to go about in scruffy and ancient rags, unwashed and with our hair sticking out in every direction! He expects us to be presentable, good ambassadors for Him. However, it’s so easy to obsess on the external, to spend too long in front of the mirror, to spend far too much money on clothes. Living for the approval of others, when God’s approval is the only approval that we need.
So, as we go about, bombarded by pressures to focus on the exterior, and to evaluate people on their outward appearance, let’s not forget that, like the bananas, it’s the inside that counts.
After all, this is the only part that truly matters.