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woman with her hands over her heart

The Lord Looks at the Heart

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“You really want THOSE chairs?” my husband said to me reluctantly as I showed him the ad for six used chairs from an old barbeque restaurant in our town. I searched for the perfect chairs to put at our dining room table for weeks. With toddlers in our house, I knew our chairs would get marked and stained, and I figured a little DIY project was just the thing for my kitchen’s “custom made” chairs.   

Even though my husband was skeptical, I finally convinced him of what these chairs could be. So, he went down to the restaurant and picked up my six chairs. When he brought them home, they were definitely dirty. From the outside, it looked as if these chairs were trash and too far past refurbishment. But I still set out to see if they would work for our kitchen table. First, I cleaned the chairs, sanded them, and then painted them with nice white paint multiple times. It sure was a labor of love!   

I’ll never forget the look on my husband’s face as I showed him the finished project in our garage. I was so excited for him to see what I had imagined finally. While the chairs looked dirty and past use at first glance, they were now clean, sturdy, and beautiful! He was astonished at how beautiful the chairs became!   

This DIY project reminds me of the words Jesus spoke to the crowd of people in (NLT) when he said,   

“Look beneath the surface so that you can judge correctly.”  

In John 7, the crowd began asking Jesus questions to see why He did things differently than they were used to. They were skeptical of who He was and where He came from. As Jesus taught them, He told them to look beneath the surface of what they were seeing to “judge correctly” for who He was and why He healed on the Sabbath.   

The crowd, the Pharisees, and the religious leaders were often confused about who Jesus was and His methods. They were perplexed, surprised, and left in awe of Him. They didn’t understand his methods because they were blinded, so they couldn’t see who Jesus truly was.  

How often do we do this also when we misjudge people or things that may seem “different” than us or our methods?   

The Bible shows us time and time again that we should not judge by outward appearance or first glance, but as the Lord does. The Lord looks at the heart of a man.   


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.”

How easy it is for us to look at what we first see and make assumptions about people or things. Just as the crowd did with Jesus and just as one could have with my kitchen chairs. But Jesus shows us that the Kingdom of God is different. Beneath the surface, we find true beauty and character.

May our eyes today be positioned to see as Jesus sees. To see beauty in what seems like ashes. To see restoration in what seems hopeless and see as the Kingdom of God does.

Lord, help us today to see You in others. Help us not to be quick to judge based on appearance or familiarity. Instead, help us to look beneath the surface. Help us to see as You see. Make us more like You. Open our eyes today to see others the way You do. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


Unless otherwise noted, Scripture is quoted from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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About The Author

Marissa Nordlum

Since 2021, Marissa Nordlum has been CBN's email analyst and devotional writer. She has a passion for the local church and loves seeing creative writing edified in music and written content. Her background is in church ministry, where she served as a youth pastor and worship leader. She lives with her husband and their three sons in Arizona.

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