“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.
6 So then we are always full of good and hopeful and confident courage; we know that while we are at home in the body, we are abroad from the home with the Lord [that is promised us]. 7 For we walk by faith [we regulate our lives and conduct ourselves by our conviction or belief respecting man’s relationship to God and divine things, with trust and holy fervor; thus we walk] not by sight or appearance. 8 [Yes] we have confident and hopeful courage and are pleased rather to be away from home out of the body and be at home with the Lord. 9 Therefore, whether we are at home [on earth away from Him], we are constantly ambitious and strive earnestly to be pleasing to Him. 10 For we must all appear and be revealed as we are before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive [his pay] according to what he has done in the body, whether good or evil [considering what his purpose and motive have been, and what he has achieved, been busy with, and given himself and his attention to accomplishing]. 11 Therefore, being conscious of fearing the Lord with respect and reverence, we seek to win people over [to persuade them]. But what sort of persons we are is plainly recognized and thoroughly understood by God, and I hope that it is plainly recognized and thoroughly understood also by your consciences (your inborn discernment). 12 We are not commending ourselves to you again, but we are providing you with an occasion and incentive to be [rightfully] proud of us, so that you may have a reply for those who pride themselves on surface appearances [on the virtues they only appear to have], although their heart is devoid of them. 2 Corinthians 5:6-13 AMP
There are those who pride themselves on surface appearances – they pride themselves on virtues they only appear to have – although their heart is devoid of them. If you present yourself as something other than what you really are- you make yourself a liar. We all want people to like us and think good things about us, but in the end it really doesn’t matter what other people think of us – it only matters what God thinks of us! God plainly recognizes and thoroughly understands what sort of person we are. Can He find something in us that He likes and that is pleasing to Him?
There will come a day that we will all stand alone before the judgment seat of Christ and all that we have done and said – both privately and publicly, good and bad – will be revealed and judged. We will be judged according to what our purpose and motive have been, what we have achieved, been busy with, and what we have given ourselves, and our attention, to accomplishing. Even our priorities will be scrutinized. We will receive our pay according to these things. God is fair and just and He judges impartially. We are the ones who make our choices, whether good or bad, and we are the ones who receive the pay we deserve.
The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7b NIV
The only chance we have to redeem ourselves and change for the good is while we are alive here on earth. A wise man or woman would make sure that he or she lived their lives in such a way that is pleasing to the Lord, who looks on the heart not just on outward appearances.
3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. 4 Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 1 Peter 3:3-5 NIV
Your true worth and beauty does not lie in your outward appearance – your clothes, your jewelry, your make-up and your “mask”. Your mask is the face you put on to impress people, to make them like you and to make them think of you the way you want them to think about yourself. Your true worth and beauty comes from inside, from your heart. It is alright to look good on the outside, but it is not the only area you should work on – you should rather work on cultivating a heart attitude that pleases God and is of great worth in His sight.
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. Ecclesiastes 3:11 NIV
God has placed eternity in our hearts. Let us live for eternity. Let us make eternal things – not earthly things – our priority.