My dad was a teacher in the same school district I attended while I was growing up. The first day of school each year was pretty much the same. My name would be called, and the teacher would tell me that he or she knew my dad. When I was young, it seemed as if everyone knew him. This, along with my reserved personality, caused me to constantly be on my best behavior when I was in public. All of this unwanted attention further solidified the importance of not doing anything to disappoint anyone or stand out in the crowd. I didn’t know that the state of my heart was even more important than who I appeared to be on the outside.
“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life” (Proverbs 4:23).
I became very good at looking like I had it all together. I knew if I behaved a certain way, I wouldn’t stand out in the crowd. That’s what I wanted…to blend in. When you’re an average girl who doesn’t seem to stand out in any way, most people tend to assume that you’re as “sweet” on the inside as you appear to be on the outside. No one (that I remember) ever addressed the importance of the state of my heart, though.
I rarely got into trouble, and I was liked by most of my teachers. My heart was a mess, though, and I ignored that for many years until God started to show me the state of my heart. I never dealt with the big huge mess that was in my heart, because I didn’t realize the importance of it.
Who are you when no one is looking?
- Do you have any secret sinful habits that no one knows about?
- Would people be shocked if they saw how you treated your family in the privacy of your own home?
- Do you wear a “mask” all day long, hoping no one will ever discover the anger and pride you carry in your heart?
- How do you talk about people when they’re not around?
- Do you have crippling fears or insecurity while wearing a fake smile on your face all day long?
- Maybe you even think your mind is so messed up that you’re going crazy…but you don’t want anyone to know that your life is not as good as it seems.
You might have something stirring in your heart right now that God is convicting you of. Maybe it’s something that’s been weighing on your heart for a while. God is your loving Father, and He wants you to surrender everything to Him. This includes all of the “secret” things that you would rather just keep hidden, because you don’t know how to deal with them. God cares about our actions, but he also cares about the state of our hearts. Our actions reflect the state of our hearts. What’s in our hearts will eventually spill out into our actions.
He wants a heart that’s fully surrendered to Him.
Our loving Father is not just looking for obedience with our actions. He is looking for hearts that are surrendered to Him. He is not impressed if we look nice on the outside but are seething with pride, hatred, jealousy and bitterness on the inside.
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean” (Matthew 23:27).
Certainly, we all have things we need to work on in our lives. He does not expect us to be perfect, but He expects us to give Him these things that sometimes only He sees. We may be able to hide them from everyone else, but we cannot hide them from God. He wants us to surrender these things to Him so He can change us from the inside out!
Jesus loves you with an everlasting love! When we give Him the hidden things in our hearts, He gives us life in return. You can never be too much of a mess to give it all to Him. Lamentations 3:22-23 says, “The faithful love of the LORD never ends. His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning.”
Have you surrendered all of the hidden areas in your heart to Him?