Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Letters to Annie: Substance is More Important than Appearance


Dear Annie,

            I love you just like you are. You’re beautiful. No doubt. If you think you’re not or you think people don’t seem to look at you that way – who care? – I, I earnestly think and confess that you’re beautiful. But you must understand that I first fall in love with you is not because you’re (just) beautiful but because you’re God-fearing woman and you’re freakingly love Jesus. Even though you always say you’re “not perfect” (of course, my dear) you know that in Christ you’re perfectly perfect. It is perfectly okay.

            You see, we’re living in a society that is obsessed with “looking good.” Jesus said this to the Pharisees, “You make yourself look good in front of people, but God knows what is really in your hearts. What is important to people is hateful in God’s sight” (Luke 16:15). Everywhere we turn, we’re confronted with a steady stream of subtle messages that try to convince us to look good. Like Brennan Manning said, “The temptation of the age is to look good without being good.” These messages are not only false, but they are also dangerous to our spiritual and emotional health. Remember the day you said to me that you doesn’t care much about my look? I was very relieved. That’s another reason why I fall for you.

            I want to build a better life and stronger relationships with you. So here’s a great place for us to start: worry less about appearances and more about substance. Let’s do this! For sure, when we do this, we may find that we’re a little out of step with the world, which is – perfectly okay – who care? “You will quickly be deceived if you look only the outward appearance of men,” writes Thomas A. Kempis, “and you will often be disappointed if you seek comfort and gain in them.” After all, the world sees people and things as they appear to be, but God sees them as they really are. People look “at the outward appearance, but [God] look at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7). And that’s the way we should see them, too.  The old-time saying is forever true: “You can’t judge a book by its cover.”

The world shouts, “Appearance! Appearance! Appearance!” But God whom we worship affirms, “Heart, heart, heart, I look at your heart!” My Annie, in Christ our hearts are renewed day by day – pure and holy – unto God. Can decent, courteous and simple appearances be our mottos? (But once in a while there is nothing wrong with grandeur and gorgeous appearances. In the end of the day, God looks at the heart). May we don’t be too worried about what we look like on the outside but be more concerned about the kind of persons we are on the inside.

God loves us just like we are.
Jesus loves you just like you are.
In the same way (maybe less than Jesus), I love you just like you are.

I never tired of saying,
“I miss you”,
Richard

THINK BIG. START SMALL. GO DEEP.

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