Appearance or Heart

Sometimes I’ve fallen into the trap of believing that if it looks good, it must be good. We can make the same error in the way we look at and judge our kids. We tend to believe that if their outward behavior conforms to Godly standards, then everything is alright on the inside. As a result, we sometimes put a premium on outward behavior, rather than on inward heart change. Jesus reminds us that we should shoot for the heart, not the behavior. When speaking about the Pharisees, He said, “These people honor me with their lips (or outward behavioral conformity), but their hearts are far from me”. While it might be easier on us if we demand and receive behavioral conformity from our kids, the reality that bears long-term fruit for the Kingdom of God is the obedience that flows not from fear, but from a changed heart. In other words, everything that looks alright might not be alright. Our goal should be to raise Godly children who honor Christ with their lips and their lives.