• Coach Shonda McCray

The Make Over

Have you ever felt as if you couldn’t measure up to the expectations of other Christians? Do you ever experience criticism from others for ways they perceive you to be lacking?

Sometimes it can be difficult to handle the way other believers see us, especially if we are new to walking with the Lord. The remnants of what we were before we came to know God still hang on us, and some Christians latch onto those things so hard that they miss the truth of what He is doing in our lives.

Earlier in my walk with God, I remember so many people talking about my tattoos, the way I dressed my nails, my hair and so much more. Their focus was on my outward appearance, but they neglected to see beyond the way I looked to what was going on in my heart. They never really got to know who I was then or what I would come to be today.

Today, we are going to look at what the Bible has to say about our hearts versus our external appearances. Before you deep opinionated religious people come for me, read this first. This is not a blog to debate but to speak facts. Too many people who want God are being pushed away because of the church and the judgment.

The Problem of Appearances

We have all seen situations where a product was advertised as being one thing but turned out to be different from what it was said to be. Usually, the actual product is nowhere near what was advertised, but sometimes the opposite is true. The same sort of thing happens with people. Some men and women appear to be spectacular until we look a little deeper. Upon closer inspection, they reveal themselves to be shallow. Other people are completely different. They look uninteresting, unappealing, or even too over the top. But once we get to know them on a deeper level, we realize that we judged them too harshly and that there is far more beneath the surface than we initially thought. Yep, been there and even wrote a book mentioning my experiences. Carry on!

The prophet Samuel faced this kind of situation when he was searching for the new king God had chosen for Israel. Previously, Saul had been chosen as king. He was, by all appearances, a great option as King. He was tall, handsome, and stood out from everyone else. The problem was, that his heart easily strayed from the truth. Now, Samuel was searching for the next king. He was sent to the house of Jesse to select one of his sons as king. At first, he was enraptured with the elder sons. But God told him that outward appearances meant nothing because He looks at the heart (1 Samuel 16:7). Instead of the bigger, stronger elder sons, God led Samuel to choose the youngest son, David, whom Scripture would later refer to as being “a man after God’s own heart.”

Judgmentalism in the Church

The issue of judging others unfairly is not a new one in the Church. Early leaders like Paul dealt with this problem, too.

In 2 Corinthians 10:7, Paul chastises the church for its lack of submission to his authority. Apparently, people were questioning his authority because his letters were “weighty”, but his physical appearance was “weak”. He says this in response: “Do you look at things according to the outward appearance? If anyone is convinced in himself that he is Christ’s, let him again consider this in himself, that just as he is Christ’s, even so, we are Christ’s” (NKJV). He then says that those who “measure themselves by themselves” are not wise.

This is the truth that the people who judged me failed to realize. Just as they were Christ’s, so I was and am Christ’s. The same is true for you when others fail to look beyond the external to the heart beneath it all that is growing and leaning on Jesus. The heart that is overflowing with joy in the midst of a deepening relationship with God. You are Christ’s. And He is working in you to shape you into the person He wants you to be on the timeline He desires to use.

Stop allowing people to downplay you and the calling on your life because of what you look like from the outside. Don't allow anyone to place you in a box because THEY don't have an understanding of what GOD is doing with you. Them religious people will have you messed up. Hold your head up high! God's got you...

I hope that you've enjoyed this week's journal entry and you will return next week. My goal is to send love and encouragement to you and your household. Wherever you are in your journey, know that you are not alone. God is with you...

Thank you for reading.

© I am Coach Shonda

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