September 13

Written by Bill Grandi on September 13th, 2019

My title for this devotion is Outside vs Inside.

Proverbs 4:23 says, “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” Good, wise words to remember. Why?

We live in a world enamored by the physical. We have people obsessed with physical exercise. We have body shamers; fat shamers; anorexia/bulimia caused by the above; body positive people; and the list goes on and on. People have been driven to take their own lives because of their own low esteem and the “hate” thrown their way. The vitamin and health supplement industry is a multi-million dollar industry.

Now let me make it clear: I’m not opposed to physical exercise and taking care of oneself to live in good health or to even look good. I have tried all my life to do just that. But there is something far more important: taking care of the inside, better known as the heart. I was speaking just yesterday with a young man who is changing direction in his life and wants to pursue pastoral ministry. From ROTC to being a math teacher to pursuing this while also being an EMT. I told him if God is calling, he must go. God’s tug on his heart is real.

Jesus knew what was important (of course) and told us. After talking about traditions and scathing the Pharisees in Matthew 15, He says, “But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone.” (15:18-20)

Outward show, keeping traditions, mean nothing. Jesus tells us what matters is the heart. What good is it to have a finely tuned body, or to observe all the outward signs of being religious when the heart is black?

“Father, may you find my heart true. May I be as diligent with my heart as I am with my outward appearance.”

 

2 Comments so far ↓

  1. It all boils down to the matters of the heart, doesn’t it? May God find ours pure and eager to beat for Him.
    Blessings, Bill!

  2. floyd says:

    Amen, Bill. Spiritual fitness means eternally more and true beauty is the real character traits from our Father.

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