Am I my body or am I my soul living in this outer shell

Does anyone else struggle sometimes with making snap judgments about people.  Working in the retail industry I meet literally hundreds of people each year.  Since becoming a Christian I am less likely to judge people by outward appearance, but every so often I fail.  Interestingly the other day I was talking to a guy who I had made a snap judgment on and turned out as we got talking that he was a church goer and had recently visited Jerusalem on a tour.  Isn’t it great that God does not look at the outside of us, but straight into our hearts?!

1 Samuel 16:7 – But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘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 also love Psalm 139 where God goes even further, he knows when I sit down, when I get up, my thoughts before I think them, my words before I say them.  God surrounds me, his knowledge is incredible, his thoughts towards me beyond my comprehension.

It reminds me not to judge but also reminds me not to react if someone fails to see the real me, cos God knows the real me and that’s all that matters.

BODY OR SOUL

Am I my body or am I my soul living in this outer shell, can you tell what I’m thinking when you look into my eyes, if I am tall does that make me better than someone who’s small?  If I am fat do you wonder what causes me to indulge, when you see my tattoos do you think I’m a loser or are you someone who’s easily impressed by outward appearance, if I showed you my scars would you think I was damaged goods, someone who couldn’t cope with life unless they are clutching a knife, do you hear me talk and think I’m an outsider, do you see what I’m reading and think it’s beneath you, do you see me walk into church and think that’s my crutch, a place for those who don’t have much else going for them, do you condemn me for my faith, do you proverbially spit in my face, well that’s OK, what I can say is I don’t need your approval, I don’t need to have you love me, to endorse my choices, I don’t need human voices to tell me I’m doing OK, I am a child of God, God who looks past the surface, he disregards the body and looks straight to my heart, he knows what I think, he knows my motivation, my fixation on serving him with all that I have, he looks upon me and that makes me glad, he looks at my soul, the soul he made whole, he looks past my shell into the very heart of my being, he is all seeing, all knowing, my loving Saviour whom I will serve forever.

Forgiveness is healing, revealing

I used to think I could never forgive people who I felt had wronged me in the past.  When I first became a Christian I knew God called us to forgive but still found it incredibly hard, after all they had hurt me, shaped me and made me feel bad about myself, how could I forgive?  But God is incredible and by his grace he changes us, he really does renew us and give us a whole new view on life.  So now I can stand and say that I forgive others and I seek to always do this quickly now if I feel wronged or aggrieved.  Talking it through with God helps too.  Take this verse from Mark 11:25-26 –

And when you stand praying, forgive anyone you have anything against. Then your Father in heaven will forgive your sins.”

It’s a no brainer, forgive and you will receive so much freedom in your soul, a weight will be lifted from your shoulders and you will find an incredible peace.

FORGIVENESS

Forgiveness, a choice, an expression of love, for love keeps no record of wrongs, forgiveness belongs in your heart, sets you apart it doesn’t diminish justice it just entrusts it to God. Forgiveness is healing, revealing a new side of me, I let it go, I grow, I can’t change the past but I can change the future, don’t be a loser, be victorious, receive God’s glorious love in all its splendour, surrender the hurt, tender it to God, give him the nod and he will take it away, a glorious new day dawns where bitterness and anger are no longer, free the soul, make peace with your broken pieces as God releases you, forgives you your sins, opens the door and beckons you in.