As I was watching and listening to Steven Furtick preach online this morning the Lord started pouring some wisdom into my spirit. Steven was, surprisingly, teaching on appearances. Some people have all the right appearances. They are in church all the time. They have a lot of money, which pays for fancy vacations, new cars and fine houses. You look at them and are impressed by it all. But God is not! God is not! Because God is looking on the heart, as my sweet Sister, Ihu Oma, reminded me this morning.
All of that stuff is impressive to look at and read about but it’s nothing to God because behind the scenes these people are empty suits. It’s all about them. Sometimes I see some of them and their own families of origin are hungry and sick and they do nothing but drive on by self-centeredly in their new cars. They eat at fine restaurants while their own family’s are praising God for beans and tortillas.
Folks God is keeping score. Those folks eating beans and tortillas invite others in and share what little they have with them. They go to minimum wage jobs each day and then do their best to encourage and do for others. Their appearances are not as good as yours but their score with God is so much higher then their appearances.
There is a scripture James 2: 3-5 that warms about appearances;
…3If you lavish attention on the man in fine clothes and say, “Here is a seat of honor,” but say to the poor man “You must stand,” or, “Sit at my feet,” 4have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? 5Listen, my beloved brothers: Has not God chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom He promised those who love Him?…
God knows our hearts. He looks past the appearances to the heart. If we do something simply to tick a box and our heart is not really in it, if we do it for praise or recognition God knows that and we miss the blessings involved with it.
The Bible tells us that God loves a cheerful giver. A person that gives because they love to see others happy is much more blessed then a person who begrudgingly pays a tithe. God taught me that years ago. He said to me, “once you give don’t worry about if you get blessed or not. Just give and it will come back when you need it.” Giving is like paying into a heavenly account. God looks down sees you in need and remembers you helping someone in need and then says, “Cathie has a balance in her heavenly account! I will send a Financial blessing her way.” Some of you don’t receive because you have nothing in your heavenly savings account. Start giving sacrificially and watch your situation change for the better.
God says to do the best we can and if people judge us for not doing things their way, they will answer to God. We may look healthy on the outside and yet have a disease such as Lupus that doesn’t show. God made us, he knows our health limitations and he doesn’t expect us to be at the church every time the doors open. We need to leave the judging to God and live our own lives.
One day a woman called me for a counseling appointment. During our time of counseling she proceeded to tell me she had Fibromyalgia and several other health issues. She started crying and telling me how she was invited places and didn’t have the strength to go. Friends and family put a
lot of pressures on this woman and shamed her for not going all the time. She said, “Why can’t I go? What’s wrong with me mentally? They say it’s all in my head!” I told the woman she was not mentally ill at all. She was physically ill and it was her family and friends who had a problem and not her.
Do the best you can. The only person who we need to worry about disappointing is God.
In God’s Unconditional Love,
Cathie King Miller