It’s what’s inside that matters! A lesson from ugly bananas, Part 1.
The bananas really weren’t very pretty. As well as being short and stumpy, they had black marks all over their lumpy skins. I searched in vain for the perfect banana, but in the end I had to settle for one just like the rest. Imperfect. Flawed.
I wasn’t expecting great things from my ugly snack.
As I peeled back the skin, I was surprised. On the soft, pale inside, there wasn’t a blemish. I took a bite. Full of flavour and the perfect texture, this was one of the best bananas I’d ever tasted!
It got me thinking. I had judged the banana on what I could see from the outside…but isn’t that how we sometimes view people? We see and evaluate the exterior, and draw conclusions about people based on their appearance. “She’s so pretty!” or “He’s really handsome!” We see pictures of celebrities, with perfect bodies, flawless faces and hair, and we’re made to feel that we should look like them. We aim to live in a picture-perfect world. We post our best selfies and revel in the ‘likes’ and compliments that come rolling in. Then we go a step further and judge everyone else with the same perfect standard. Most don’t measure up.
In 1 Samuel 16, the prophet Samuel was given the task of identifying the next king of Israel. Jesse’s sons began to pass by him one by one. Eliab was tall and handsome. “Surely,” thought Samuel, “this is the one God has chosen to be king.”
But what did the Lord say? “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7 NKJV).
The heart. Not the organ which pumps blood around the body, but the innermost part of us. The part that really matters.
I’m sure we’ve all, at one time or another, lifted a piece of fruit, perhaps a shiny red apple, perfect in appearance, only to find it tasteless or even rotten inside. The exterior might be attractive, but, as with us, it’s the inside that really counts.
What is your heart like? Is it, as the Bible talks about, deceitful and desperately wicked? (Jeremiah 17:9). No one likes to admit that that is their heart’s condition. Yet, the Bible is speaking the truth. We are all sinners. Every one of us. ‘All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God’ (Romans 3:23).
There was only one person who ever lived on earth who was totally sinless – God’s Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible says of Him that ‘in Him is no sin’ (1 John 3:5). He was perfect, yet one day He was nailed to a cross, suffered and died for us. He took the punishment that we deserved. He made a way for us to be forgiven, a way for our deceitful and wicked hearts to be changed and made new.
Would you like your heart to be cleansed? To know for sure that heaven is where you will be when life is over? The Lord Jesus said that whoever believes in Him will not perish but will have eternal life (John 3:15).
When you trust Him, He will give you a new, clean heart.
‘If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation’ (2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV).