Proverbs 31 Ministries is a non-denominational, non-profit Christian ministry that seeks to lead women into a personal relationship with Christ. With Proverbs 31:10-31 as a guide, Proverbs 31 Ministries reaches women right in the middle of their busy day through free daily devotions, radio program, speaking events, conferences, monthly magazine, resources, online communities, and Gather and Grow groups. We are real women offering real-life solutions to women who are striving to maintain life’s balance, in spite of today’s hectic pace and cultural pull away from godly principles. Wherever a woman may be on her spiritual journey, Proverbs 31 Ministries exists to be a trusted friend who takes her by the hand and walks by her side, leading her one step closer to the heart of God.
October 22, 2008
By Gina Parcells, She Speaks! Graduate
“Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
1 Samuel 16:7b (NIV)
Despite the fact that I cook every night, my spiritual gift is definitely not in the kitchen.
Last night, I was running behind as I cooked burgers on the grill. I needed the meat to cook more quickly so, novice cook that I am, I figured that turning up the heat was a pretty good option. I cooked, I flipped, and I added cheese. I garnished each masterpiece with lettuce, tomato, and onion, and I waited for the compliments to rush in from my beloved family.
“Mom, why is my bun soaked?”
“Whoa, look at how gushy and red this meat is.”
My youngest tried to come to my rescue, “Well, from the outside, this burger looks amazing!”
The outside…I thought that if it looked good on the outside then surely the inside must look just as good.
As women, we can be so focused on our outward appearances that we neglect the meat of what God sees.
Each morning, we spend time applying our makeup and fixing our hair, but do we have the same resolve to prepare ourselves inwardly to face the day, every day? Maybe the shine from the lip gloss is imperative for the world, but what about the shine that God wants to develop from within?
We take time to dress in our stylish clothing and accessorize with our fashionista jewelry, but even with these condiments, we become like that burger—cooked on the outside but not yet ready on the inside. The pathetic truth is that quite often the necessity for personal grooming to look good to the world pushes aside the quiet times of grooming that would make me look better to God.
I have to wonder whether God looks at me some mornings and says, “Are you going out looking like that? Baby, you’re not ready. Why don’t you let Me help you?”
What I really need to realize is that it’s only man who looks at my outward appearance. The Lord is looking right at my heart. All the makeovers in the world will do nothing for my beauty compared with the daily heart makeovers that He wants to perform.
Next time I’m grilling burgers, I’ll be certain to leave enough time to cook them completely. And tomorrow morning, beyond the primping time, I’ll be certain to leave plenty of room for God to work as the Master Chef ensuring that I, too, am “cooked through.”
Dear Lord, show me what it means to have a heart that is wholly devoted to You, and help me to desire the inner beauty that only You can provide. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Family Enrichment Toolkit by Michelle Weber
Designate a time to intentionally meet with God each day, and commit this time to Him even if it’s only for five minutes.
As you prepare dinner for those you love, pray for your resolve to be “cooked though” for the One who loves you.
If God were to describe the condition of my heart, what might He say?
Specifically, how do I need to adjust my schedule to ensure that I have time to let God help me get ready for each day?
Psalm 16:8a, “I have set the LORD always before me.” (NIV)
Psalm 143:6, “I spread out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land.” (NIV)
1 Peter 3:3-4a, “Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart.” (NASB)
Proverbs 31 Ministries
Matthews, NC 28105