By Leonard Lauriault
I attended a gathering recently where everyone introduced themselves.
One person stated they were a radiology technician at a local hospital and one of the other attendees said, “Hey, didn’t you take my x-ray yesterday?”
The first person responded apologetically that she didn’t have a good memory for faces. I immediately thought to myself, “Well, of course not; she’s used to looking on the inside of people!” If the second person had mentioned getting their left arm x-rayed, the technician might have responded, “Oh yes, you had a wrist fracture, left, closed, initial encounter and left sprain distal radioular joint!” (OK, I copied that and have little clue what it means.)
Anyway, as I thought about the actual conversation and that radiology technicians probably know us better by what’s inside, I recalled that that’s also how God looks upon us (1 Samuel 16:7; Acts 1:24; 15:8; Psalm 44:21).
God looks at the heart to see who’s seeking him. He knows that among men there’re those who foolishly think only evil thoughts as well as those who’re pure in heart, like Noah, and are prompted to righteous acts (Psalm 14:1-2; Genesis 6:5-9; Exodus 25:1-2).
While it’s possible that radiology technicians know us better by what’s on the inside, it’s sad that the rest of us don’t look past the external and don’t see the heart of the matter to understand why people do the things they do. We’d be a lot more God-like (Godly) if we would. That being said, external factors are the fruit of internal matters (Matthew 15:17-20; Proverbs 27:19; Galatians 5:22-25).
Consequently, we need to guard our hearts by guarding what we allow to enter our hearts because whatever goes in is going to come out, often at an inopportune time (Proverbs 4:23; 1 Thessalonians 5:19-22). We should fill our heart with the positive things pertaining to life and Godliness (Deuteronomy 4:29; Psalm 119:9-11; Philippians 4:4-9). Hiding God’s word in our heart is the best place to start because his word judges the thoughts and attitudes of our heart, although, it’s up to us to heed the judgment now to avoid being judged later (Hebrews 4:12-13; John 12:47-48).
God will help us with that if we ask, but we cannot cherish sin in our heart (James 1:5-8; Psalm 66:17-20; 139:23-24; 51:10; 19:14). We can only approach God for help after we’ve been circumcised in heart, though (Deuteronomy 10:16; Romans 2:28-29; Isaiah 59:1-2). That happens when we’re baptized and receive the indwelling of his Spirit (Colossians 2:8-14; Galatians 3:26 to 4:7; 1 Peter 3:21-22). Having been circumcised in heart, if we continue to live in his favor, when sin does enter into our heart, we can seek forgiveness (1 John 1:5-9; Acts 8:22; Hebrews 4:14-16; 10:22).
Have you turned to God for a clean heart and the wisdom to protect your heart so that what he sees there will always be pure and so you’ll be able to see him for real in return (Matthew 5:8; 1 John 3:2-3)?
Leonard Lauriault is a member of the Church of Christ in Logan. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org