I have this very dear friend, and quite a few years ago she trained to take part in a three day 60-mile walk that raised funds to benefit cancer research. Somehow or another, I became her walking buddy, perhaps you could say that I was her training buddy. We walked, and we walked, and we walked. She attacked this challenge very seriously, and by the time that the three day walk arrived, she was ready. While others dropped out from the sheer exhaustion, she completed each and every single step. I was there to cheer her on. I drove from one rally point to another over each of the three days, I waved to her, I clapped for her effort. It was if I had taken each and every step along the way with her. It was quite an accomplishment on her part and it required a big sacrifice of time and preparation.
I treasure those days. As we walked, we got close and our friendship grew. And while we walked, we talked. We talked about God, we talked about our families, we talked about our children, we talked about work, we talked about failures, we talked about triumphs, we talked about our dreams, we talked about our frustrations, we talked about anything and everything – even somethings that didn’t much matter. But in all of those conversations, there’s one thing that my dear friend said that still sticks out in my mind: “don’t judge your insides by other people’s outside.” (Author Unknown)
It indeed is a rather profound statement and it reminds me of the statement “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.” God addressed that specific topic when it came to Samuel anointing the Old Testament King David. He was the last of the sons of Jesse, and must have been thought as insignificant because Jesse didn’t even bother to call David in from the field when Samuel came to anoint the future king.
I have fallen in the trap of looking at someone else’s life through different types of lenses. Usually it was from the perspective that their life seems to be so much better than mine. They may appear to have the perfect life, perfect career, perfect house, perfect children, etc. But what I see on the outside could be, and often is, rather misleading.
What you know about me is exactly what I have revealed to you. And likewise, just what I know about you is what you have revealed to me. The fact is that unless you are super-close to another person, you really don’t know just what makes them tick. You don’t know their fears, their failures, their past behaviors, and their pitfalls. We usually don’t reveal that much information to other than a select few. And, I can easily mistake their intentions and motivations by the filter that I have in my mind and they can do likewise with me.
In my blog posts, I have revealed some unflattering information about myself, and for me that’s a big step. I am somewhat of a perfectionist (my husband agrees with this statement), so when I reveal my flaws out here, it’s been huge. At certain points in my life, I have revealed some items to others and in some of those cases, based upon some reactions, I grew to regret sharing because the criticism abounded.
That was then, and this is now. All because God has placed a certain compelling need to share my faith, and to do so, I must admit to my flaws and failures. After all they make me who I am. And as I go through this faith journey the words of my dearest friend still stick with me – they remind me to not judge my insides by another person’s outside.
“But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7, ESV)
How about you, do you look at other’s lives and think that they are ideal?
If so, how do you deal with those feelings?
Believing God, trusting God, adoring God, walking with God, growing with God, confessing to God, talking with God, listening to God, learning with God – it’s the Heart of the Journey ❤️