My wife, Martie, is a careful shopper when it comes to buying healthy nutritional food. No matter how attractive the packaging looks, she checks the list of ingredients on the back of the box. Lots of difficult-to-pronounce words usually announce the presence of preservatives that work against good nutrition. She always puts those items back on the shelf and continues to look for labels with lists of natural food products that contribute to good health.
I’ve often thought that her shopping habits are a lot like what God is looking for in our lives: It’s what’s on the inside that counts, regardless of how attractive the outside might be. It’s no wonder that the wisdom-teller of Proverbs warns us to guard what goes into our hearts, “for out of it spring the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23). Wearing the right fashions and keeping ourselves looking young are of little importance if our hearts harbor greed, hatred, grumpiness, self-pity, and other counter-productive contents.
So, ask yourself: When others get past the packaging of my life, do they experience a heart full of healthy, Christ-honoring ingredients? By putting in grace, kindness, patience, and compassion, we’ll reflect the wonderful nature of Christ. – Joe Stowell
Lord, teach me to value my heart more than the externals. Grant me the wisdom to cultivate internal ingredients that will make my heart a wellspring of life to those whom I come in contact with today.
The contents in your heart are more important than the outer packaging.
- October 26, Vol. 21, Our Daily Bread