There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him. – Mark 7:15
We’ve heard the expression “It’s what’s on the inside the counts.” The idea is meant to highlight something that most people instinctively agree with – no matter how people present themselves to us, it’s their character and values that tell us who they really are and whether we can trust them.
We can all think of ‘popular, attractive’ people from our high school who simply lacked the kindness that would actually make them worthy of popularity. Perhaps we were one of them…. Yet, even though we know that the inside counts more, we don’t tend to spend an equivalent amount of time improving our inner world. This is partly because the rewards take a lot longer to receive. Get a new haircut and people might notice straight away (well, not everyone). Become a nicer person though, and it might take years for others to notice (or care).
Jesus, however, really does look at our hearts more than our outward appearance. He sees our inner world and knows who we truly are. This is both scary and comforting. He knows your struggles, fears and what you long for. He also knows how to help you be who you really should be.
I think most of you will agree with Jesus. It’s a person’s character, values and personality that matter much more than how they look or the image they create for themselves online. If that’s so, then perhaps today we can take another step forward to being the kinds of followers that Jesus longs for – caring more about the state of our hearts than the state of our appearance.