“Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7
Seven‐year‐old Chris Krebs was born with cerebral palsy and was profoundly retarded. One day he and his father, Greg, sat in a hospital lounge waiting for Mrs. Krebs, who worked at the hospital. Another man, shabbily dressed and emanating a peculiar aroma, was also waiting there. He looked like a bum or derelict. Greg went to the nurses’ station and asked how much longer his wife would be. When he returned, he saw Chris sitting by the man. The man was sobbing, and Greg wondered what Chris had done to disturb him.
“I’m sorry if my son offended you,” Greg said.
The man replied, “Offended me? Your son is the only person who has hugged me in the last twenty years!” Greg later said, “I realized at that moment Chris had a more Christ-like love for this man than I did.”
Although disrespect for the disabled or less fortunate is characteristic of our culture, we know there is no “junk” in God’s value system. He loves every one of us the same. He sees our potential, and He uses each person to accomplish some part of His purpose. As His children, we’re called to look at everyone through the lens of His perfect love.
When we show compassion and respect to the people who cross our paths from day to day, we are also likely to treat our spouse the same way. It all begins with a spirit of loving‐kindness.
Just between us…
Father, may we always be sensitive to the needs and value of other people. Help us to share Your love to them, no matter who they are. Amen.
Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Philippians 1:27
It’s easy for moms and dads to come up with reasons for taking a “character vacation.” You may think, for instance, Everyone else cheats on their taxes, so why shouldn’t I? Or, No one will care if I take a few things from the office (or factory) to use at home. But once you start your slide into the pit of rationalization, it’s very difficult to climb back out—and equally tough to keep your children from joining you.
In the first days of the Christian church, a man named Ananias and his wife, Sapphira, thought they could fool God by appearing to be generous. First they sold a piece of property. Then Ananias, with his wife’s knowledge, kept some of the money and presented the rest to the apostles, pretending that it was the full amount from the sale. Peter confronted him: “What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied to men but to God.” Ananias immediately fell down and died. When Sapphira arrived later, also pretending that they had given the full amount, she too died at Peter’s feet (Acts 5:1–10).
Our kids are watching our character closely. God is watching, too. He knows when our actions are forthright and when we distort the truth: “The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity” (Proverbs 11:3). We must remember—and teach our children—that God’s desire for us is to keep our character intact.
Before you say good night…
Are there times when you take a “character vacation”?
Are you modeling godly character to your children?
Gracious Lord, we too often allow troubles and our own priorities to pull us away from You. Let us cling to You and Your eternal Word, no matter what the circumstances. Build our trust as we stay ever faithful to You. Amen.