In high school, we had a guy on our basketball team that was 6’8” tall. Before one of our games, I told him, “Go out to the court while the other team is warming up. I want you to reach as high up on the net as you can and then stare down the other team for 30 seconds. After that, turn around and walk back here.” My hope was that the other team would take one look at him and change their game plan. I also wanted the psychological advantage before the game because I knew they would take one look at him and believe he was made for basketball. The truth was he rarely made it onto the court because his coordination hadn’t caught up to his growth spurt.
So many times we judge people by their outward appearance. We make snap judgements about whether we like them or not, whether they’re smart or good at a certain task. Many times we aspire to be like someone based on their appearance or how they present themselves on social media. While we look at how someone looks outwardly, God is more concerned with our hearts. David’s brother had the look of a king, but David had the heart God wanted in a king. If God hadn’t intervened, Samuel would have anointed the wrong man.
In 1 Samuel 16:7 God said, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (NLT). God wants you and I develop a heart that desires to know Him and serve Him. When we make it a priority to get our heart right, God opens doors that we’re closed. His blessings are not based on what we outwardly do, but by the posture of our heart. Spend time today seeking God’s presence in order to know His heart more. The more we know His heart, the more ours becomes like His.
Photo by Hush Naidoo on Unsplash
I’ve always heard it said that integrity isn’t what you do in front of others, it’s what you do when no one else is around. Many times we are one person at work, another person at church, another person with our friends, and another person at home. In fact, when doing a DISC personality assessment, we tell people to pick their environment. Some more comprehensive ones actually show you the differences in your personality type between the environments.
When it comes to being a Christian, it’s important that we always live with integrity no matter what environment we are in. We don’t have to pretend that we aren’t human and that we are perfect because we’re not. We can live real lives, admit our struggles, show our brokenness and still live with integrity. It’s by our love that they will know we are His disciples, not by our pretending to be perfect.
I love the book of Psalms because David, who was a man after God’s own heart, is vulnerable enough to share and show his true self. He was a man of doubts, sins, fears, and worries. I think that’s why so many of us soak up the Psalms and why they resonate with us. David was a man of integrity and didn’t pretend to be anyone other than who he was. He was honest in his prayers and his praise. He was the same man in public and in private.
In Psalm 101:2, he vowed to God, “I will lead a life of integrity in my own home” (NLT). He understood the importance of integrity and knew that it started at home when no one was looking. Each of us can learn from his example. Being a person after God’s own heart isn’t about being perfect. It’s about having integrity, being able to admit it when we’ve sinned, and following after God matter what. If we have integrity at home, it’ll bleed into all the other areas of our lives.