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We know that God looks at the heart (1 Samuel 16:7).  But knowing something doesn’t mean we understand it or believe it or even perceive it that way ourselves.  The world tells us who we are based on what we do, how much we make, what car we drive, how we dress, what we look like, and hundreds of other things that, ultimately, don’t matter.

And we buy into it.

We consider ourselves less because we don’t have what someone else has.  We disparage ourselves when we lack.  Not that we should seek to go without necessities; I think, however, that there is a difference between accumulation of things for the sake of having and the accumulation of things for the sake of living.

We base our perceptions of others on what they look like.  We make a split-second first impression and we think we know how a person will act or what a person might say.  Sometimes we’re right, sometimes we’re wrong.

I, myself, struggle to find my worth.  Though I love writing, it doesn’t pay the bills (yet).  Does that make me less of a writer than a bestselling author?  I sit at home and write without feeling the need to work because I feel I am working…just not making money.  Not a distinction the world sees.  Now, this isn’t to say, working for money is bad or that I shouldn’t seek employment; after all, there are bills that need to be paid.  But, I find myself falling into the trap that my self-worth revolves around how others perceive me.

The way others see me will always be less than the way God sees me.

The struggle comes when I feel that I am doing God’s will but not living to the world’s standards.  The world can crush our spirits more easily than we can build them back up from the pieces.  We allow it to shatter us because we don’t stand upon God’s revealed word.  We don’t view ourselves the way God views us.

With infinite patience, the Lord allows us to choose how to live and how to view others.  Do we see them as broken, as struggling against the current, as somehow less?  Do we see them with eyes of grace and mercy?

How we look at someone else reflects how we view ourselves.  Not completely, of course.  It isn’t a perfect mirror, but it can inform us of what we feel contains worth.

We are all struggling in this broken world to find a place and gather whatever scraps we can instead of seeking to know the Lord and view ourselves and others as He does.  Look at people’s hearts and see them how God sees them.