Friday, July 6, 2012

A Look At The Heart - A Heart Like His

I decided to hegin a Bible study using Beth Moore's book, "David 90 Days With A Heart Like His".  I've read other Beth Moore books in the past and felt that this was the perfect season in my life for this journey.
But the Lord said to Samuel, "Do not look at his appearance or his stature, because I have rejected him. Man does not see what the Lord sees, for man sees what is visible, but the Lord see the heart." (Samuel 16:7)

Where do you find yourself doing the most--judging people by height, weight, and appearance, sizing them up?

People will often say "I don't judge other people." That of course is the right thing to say and do but you'll find that in practice we all judge people to an extent. Interesting considering that most of us don't like for others to judge us.

When I was dating I passed over certain men because I didn't find them attractive for some reason or another. I'm certain that there were men who didn't give me a second look for the same reason. Perhaps I missed out on the love of a lifetime, perhaps not. I ignored the truth that a beautiful appearance is a good thing, but righteous heart is more valuable.

Now that I'm happily married to a man who very well may not have been a man I would have dated as a young girl, I'm a bit less judgmental ,which is not to say that I NEVER judge others.

I cringe if I see a 700 pound man headed for the heart-attack grill for dinner. "Oh My God he's going to kill himself if he keeps eating like that," I say to myself. Perhaps I see a woman with huge tattoos, a nose ring, and more and wonder, "How is she going to get a good job?"

 Our sinful nature likes to compare ourselves with others, especially among the people we know and relate with. Our sinful "flesh" wants to hold them in contempt and anger when they rise above us, or express a position which is contrary to our own point of view.
I compare myself to others and often feel I'm on the losing end, but don't forget that this is judging others too.

Actually, what qualities should catch your eye and impress us the most about others? What are the marks of true greatness?

The qualities that catch my eyes these days are kindness, compassion, and empathy. I'm not interested in people telling me about their "beliefs" about what others should do. I'm much more interest in their actions rather than their words.

Giving consistent effort in the little things in day-to-day life leads to true greatness. Specifically, it is the thousands of little deeds and tasks of service and sacrifice is a sign of greatness.

True greatness is never a result of a chance occurrence or a one-time effort or achievement. It requires the development of character. It requires a multitude of correct decisions for the everyday choices between good and evil.

Who are the "older brothers" you compare yourself to? Who or what have you allowed to intimidate you into believing that you're less than you really are, incapable of achieving?

They say that you can be your own worst enemy and I believe that's true. I was taunted, teased and bullied at school when I was growing up. Home was not a sanctuary rather it was a place of violence and abuse. I took to heart the heart judgments.

The one that stung me for such a long time was what my mother told me when I asked her, "Mom, do you love me?' Her answer came sharp and quick, "Have you EVER given me a reason to love you?"

I allowed my ex-husband to totally dominate my life and cripple my spirit further. I saw myself as unlovable and worthless.

It's been hard work trying to heal these deep wounds but as I grow stronger in my faith I find myself forgiving those who hurt me, especially myself.

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