Appearances

“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

In my teens and early 20s, I never had to worry about what I ate or how much I exercised.  I had a high metabolism and a small frame, by design, and it was good.  Then I had kids… It’s a little different for me now.  I know I will never again be the size I was when I got married – I’m pretty sure my complete bone structure has changed after those three blessings.

Recently, I have spent WAY too much time worrying about my appearance.  I made really poor eating choices (but really easy for single parenting during the week) while we were transitioning to Ohio.  My last few weeks in West Virginia, I ate out A LOT.  I enjoyed a lot of wonderful “goodbyes” over meals out, and I am grateful for them.  Unfortunately, I gained back the weight I had worked to lose prior to November.  And I have been really hard on myself, but I also found myself being really judgmental of others’ appearances by comparing myself to them.  I would see pictures of women in great shape and just feel horribly about myself.

God put it on my heart to study David, and I am in the very beginning of my study.  I came across this verse, and it has stuck with me since I first heard it listening to Christine Caine’s podcast “The Dark Room.”  I kept coming back to it.  I used it as my very first entry in my awesome journaling Bible.  I love it.  It is so reassuring that God doesn’t focus on our outward appearances, but only our hearts.

Reassuring, but also made me think.  See, when I focused on comparing myself to others, I let that sneaky devil start entering my mind and heart.  I’d hear his whispers and focus on that negativity.  I gave in to those thoughts over, and over, and over.  And my heart was NOT one that I wanted God to see.  Obviously, nothing can be hidden from God and He knew about this internal struggle.  And I think He spoke to me through this verse.  When God sees my heart, I want Him to see love.  Joy.  A desire to be more like Christ.  What he would have seen a week ago was jealousy, insecurity, and sadness.

It is SO easy for Satan to sneak into our minds when we let our guards down.  He is just there, always, waiting for an opportunity.  At a time when I had so many distractions, and I wasn’t spending enough time in God’s word, he got in.  The good news?  He can be defeated.  I have been praying more, reading Scripture more, and relying on God for help when making food/exercise choices.  I am no longer concerned about making my appearance an idol, and now am focused on getting my heart back to where it needs to be.

My husband sent me this verse when I was complaining about myself: “for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.”  — 1 Timothy 4:8

God wants us working on our hearts, spending time with Him in His ever-living Word.  Be careful not to get bogged down with physical appearances, your own or others, because it can lead to a slippery slope and quickly replace God as an idol.  I didn’t even realize it had happened until God showed me with the verse about David.

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