A Christlike Heart

The Lord does not look at the things man looks at.
1 Samuel 16:7

Lori Salierno, in her book Designed for Excellence, relates that she developed a terrible case of acne when she was in high school. Everything she tried failed. She even heard girls at school whispering about her face. One night her will to cope copped out. Sobbing, she threw herself on her bed. Eventually her father came in to comfort her. “Lori,” he said, “I’m sorry. I know it’s tough, but you can overcome this. You need to forget about your face and start to work on your inner qualities.”

Lori wasn’t too sure her father knew what he was talking about, but she thought it was worth a try. She decided to focus on the Lord’s command to “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39). She began visiting a nearby nursing home, telling residents about herself and listening to their stories. The more Lori learned about the hearts and concerns of these senior citizens, the more her own pain seemed to diminish. One day, when a resident told Lori that she was “beautiful,” Lori realized that she truly felt beautiful. Her trips to the nursing home boosted her self-image and made it easier for her to face her schoolmates.

Scripture says that “Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7). When we teach our children to know and follow the Word of the Lord, they will move ever closer to the heart of Jesus—and develop a healthy self-concept in the process.

Before you say good night…

  • Are your kids most concerned about their outer or inner qualities?
  • Have you ever talked about 1 Samuel 16:7 with your kids, explaining what God values most in His children?

Dear God, we find it so easy to place great significance on matters that mean little in Your eyes. Thank You for clear instruction on what has lasting value and what will bring us closer to Your heart and will for our family. Amen.

Illustration adapted from Designed for Excellence by Lori Salierno with Esther Bailey (Anderson, Ind.: Warner Press, 1995).

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This devotional is taken from Night Light for Parents. Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reservedUsed with permission.