I have always loved books, even from a very early age. I can remember going into my closet and sitting on the floor and reading for hours. Reading can take you on adventures you would otherwise never go on. However, selecting a “good” book is not easy. When I was younger, my selection came primarily through the books on my shelf, that I had been given, or the school library. Although it had several books, I still stuck pretty close to the authors I knew or ones recommended by the librarian. As I have grown, my love for books has increased, if anything. I love curling up with a good book, especially on a gloomy, rainy day.
I received a kindle the first part of this year. I honestly didn’t know whether I would really like it. However, I have found that I simply love it! It has opened up a vast number of books to me. The first time I went on the Amazon site, I was amazed by the sheer number of books. I almost didn’t know where to begin. I, of course, looked for my favorite authors and genres. However, there were so many free books that I thought maybe I should give some others a try. But how does one go about selecting a book? If it is not the author, what draws you to a particular book? Is it the title, or illustration on the cover? I’m certain that if we were all honest, we would have to admit that we make a judgment call on the book based on the cover. I don’t know about you, but I heard countless times growing up, “You can’t judge a book by its cover.” I have certainly found that to be true.
The same principle can be applied to people. How many times in a crowded room are we drawn to the people who either look like us or simply look like they have it all together. The key word there is “look”. It is easy to make the outward appear “acceptable” to others. However, God looks at the heart, “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). The word “heart” is mentioned over 700 times in the Bible. I am certain that indicates how important it is to God. David is said to “be a man after God’s own heart” (Acts 13:22). That is what each and everyone of us should strive for — being after God’s own heart. It is no coincidence that the heart is centrally located within the human body and is vital for so many functions — for life itself. Therefore, our concern needs to be getting the inward straightened out, so that it can be reflected to the world. I speak from experience here, many things in your life can be hidden from others by putting on the mask so many of us wear. However, if we would just focus on our “heart issues”, then everything else in our lives would fall into place. In order to get to know someone you have to go beyond the outward. You need to determine whether you have things in common. To do that you need to go deeper, to the heart of the matter, if you will. You and I need to take the dust covers off of ourselves and let people see us for who we are. We need to be “real” with one another and, most importantly, with God.