by Sharman J. Monroe
I had major surgery a couple of weeks ago. Due to the advances in medicine the procedure, although major, was minimally invasive – I had an assisted robotic surgery so I didn’t have a lot of deep incisions and bandages. In fact, I was walking the evening of the surgery and released from the hospital the next day. Although I didn’t have bandages on my body, I had lots of physical restrictions on lifting, walking, bending, stooping, and using steps. When I moved, I moved slowly.
On the outside, I looked fine, normal, no different from before the surgery. But on the inside, body parts had been moved around, cut, removed and lased. On the inside, by body was adjusting to a new normal due to the surgery. Anyone who knew me and saw me walking slowly or asking for help to do small things probably thought I was being weird. They didn’t get it. They didn’t know there was something different about me. They didn’t know I had undergone surgery and was healing.
This all reminded me of 1 Samuel 16:7:
“For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
When we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we become different on the inside. God sees our heart for Him and begins to change us on the inside, perform surgery, so that we look more and more like Jesus (Romans 8:28-29). The Holy Spirit comes to dwell in us to guide us in this life and seal us forever (John 14:26; Ephesians 1:13).
After we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, everything on the outside looks the same. Yes, we continue to do sinful things, we continue to offend God because we are flesh and the flesh is weak and wars against God. But God doesn’t see us based on our sins. He sees us based on Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross to atone for those sins and our acceptance of the sacrifice. God sees our heart and who He purposed us to be (Ephesians 2:10).
After we accept Jesus, some people will continue to see us as the same person. They expect the same behaviors and call us by the same names. When they see us doing different things, acting differently, they think we are weird. But that’s okay. They don’t get it. They don’t know about Jesus. So tell them. Explain why you are acting differently. Let them know that Jesus is now the Lord of your life and you are learning that your old behaviors just detract from who you are and create havoc in your life. Let them know that they can accept Jesus as their Lord, they don’t have to perfect to do so and they will learn new behaviors and get the havoc out of their lives too.