I stopped at a bakery yesterday to pick up an order for my mom. The lady at the counter tapped the ring on my finger and said, “your husband must love you alot!” I smiled and said, “yep! He loves me that much!” But inside, I had quite the chuckle. My own cherished wedding ring has a broken prong so I don’t wear it very often as I don’t want the diamond to fall out. But a while ago at a rummage sale, I bought an imitation that is probably worth a couple dollars which I often wear in its place until I have a chance to get my own fixed. As I drove away contemplating letting my husband know just how much he doesn’t love me according the value of my ring, LOL, I was reminded just how unreal impressions can be. It was a huge reminder to me that when we meet someone and assume something about them, it may in fact not be the case. Someone who seems mean, or hurtful, may in fact be hurting. Someone may seem happy on the outside and be extremely sad on the inside. What a great lesson for me on the grace and love we need to offer to everyone we come in contact with, because what we see may not be who they are on the inside, and certainly not who they appear to be.
How appropriate that nearing this day of love being professed the world over, we are reminded of God’s love for every one of us and that He truly does know who we are. He doesn’t have a first impression of someone, He has the blueprint of their actual heart and soul! He knows what each of us is really like, what each of us really struggles with, and His love for all of us is deep and steadfast and not measured by what He gives us or how we look on the outside!
God loves each of us the same, yet He knows us intimately! No other love story deserves such recognition as this one! But it’s not uncommon for us to think differently of people based on what we se. It’s happened for centuries. In fact, in New Testament times, when Paul and Barnabas were busy sharing the love of Christ with both Jews and Gentiles, the council in Jerusalem, the Pharisees, were pretty preturbed. They looked down on the Gentiles and felt if they were going to get the same grace and mercy that Christ gave on the cross, that the Gentiles should also have to look just like them. And Peter, in all his wisdom, explained the love of God to them this way:
- 6The apostles and elders met to consider this question. 7After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: “Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe. 8God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. 9He did not discriminate between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith. 10Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear? 11No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.” (Acts 15:6-11 – NIV)
Yes, God knows the heart! And He has loved us all, equally and mercifully, just the same! There’s no measure by the way we look, or what we wear, or how we seem to be that can affect His love for us! No man can judge what is happening on the inside or what our lives are really like. God knows the heart! And He loves us all just the same!
Now, I might be a little more conscious about the ring I wear. I might one day work a little harder to get mine fixed, or even talk my husband into a new one! It will never be the measure of how much my husband actually loves me. But it will always be a reminder to me to love beyond what I see! Because the perfect example of love, in all it’s purity and grace and mercy and redemption was poured out in spite of the condition of my heart! And my Father in heaven, sees my heart, and yours, exactly as it is!