“But you, Timothy, certainly know what I teach,
and how I live, and what my purpose in life is.
You know my faith, my patience, my love, and my endurance.
2 Timothy 3:10
Early in our Christian lives, we thought we were God’s elite because we meticulously tried to make every detail of our lives godly. The baggy, dark-colored clothes we wore were supposed to protect us from temptation. The old black sedans we drove and the naked walls and bare light bulbs in our homes were our attempts to avoid pride.
Then a blind lady named Carol lived with us for six weeks. Carol couldn’t see any of this. But she could hear our harsh and belittling tones when we spoke with each other.
Outwardly we were all about making ourselves appear godly. Somehow, we overlooked the part of the gospel that told us to let Jesus in so he could make us godly from the inside out. Somehow, we found ways of explaining those Bible passages so they fit our idea of God, instead of opening our hearts to the Bible and letting God explain himself to us.
Carol couldn’t “see” any details of the life we had created to make ourselves appear godly. What she “saw” was more important. With her ears, she saw our hearts by how we treated each other.
One reason I love simple, country people is because many see past all the masks. They stick around long enough to know each other’s lives. They know who’s a jerk, a crook, or something worse. And they know who’s a good person.
When someone claims to be a spiritual leader, try covering your ears and looking at his life. Then cover your eyes, open your ears, and listen to what he says about others and how he talks to his spouse and children.
Most of us are hungry for friends. Most of us wish someone would come and lead us. But don’t trust people with your heart until you know their lives.