But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” ~ I Samuel 16:7
Today my little boy got to attend a little farmer class. It was meant especially for toddlers, and involved feeding chickens, collecting eggs, and visiting all kinds of animals. While I have come to the conclusion that not-quite-two was a little young for this kind of thing (the screaming tantrum half-way through was a good indicator), I think overall he had a good time.
I, however, found myself wrestling with an issue that I’ve encountered every now and again over the past two years.
A while ago, I mentioned that I’d had my wedding and engagement ring redone into a necklace, so I could wear them regularly. I also had my son’s birthstone placed in the setting of my engagement ring, so I could wear that, too. Both of these decisions seemed like a good healthy way of moving forward, and for the most part I am at peace with the change.
However, when I’m at things like the class we attended this morning, I’m not as confident. Since my job allows me the flexibility of doing things with my little boy during the day, I have the incredible privilege of doing things with him and going places that other working moms don’t. And typically, most of the moms I encounter are stay-at-home moms, who are (almost) always married. In those moments, I wish that I had my wedding and engagement ring, so that I could feel like part of the group, even if it isn’t real.
But wearing a wedding set, even if it is real, doesn’t mean I’m married anymore than taking a swim in the pond means I’m duck. It would just be me putting up a false front, for the sake of appearances. And while it would certainly fool everyone who saw it, I sure wouldn’t be fooling myself.
Putting on something on the outside can make people believe things about you that are true on the inside. Sometimes a flawless appearance hides a broken heart. A strong body is shielding a twisted mind. Expensive clothes belie a financial mess. But no matter how good a front we put up for others, God knows the real truth. The slight sting of being embarrassed before our peers is nothing compared to facing up to a life constructed on lies before our Creator.
So if ever you are tempted to put up a fake front to save face, remember this verse. The Lord is looking at your heart, and only His opinion matters. He would much rather you be honest with Him and yourself, than to waste your energy trying to impress people who don’t really care.