by Tim Howard
When I was I grammar school I loved Superman. He was my favorite Super Hero. He could jump tall buildings; run faster than a locomotive and best of all – he had x-ray vision, which gave him the power to see through almost everything.
I wanted that ability! Since my hormones were in transition, however, I’m not sure the rationale behind this desire was all that noble.
Technology has advanced greatly over the years and now we have the ability to see with x-ray vision in some areas. My grandson had an x-ray some time ago because of a broken arm and it was amazing to see how different the view is when a person looks beneath the surface.
In the real world people tend to look at the outward and ignore the inward. Too often they draw conclusions on the basis of what they see rather than investigating all the facts. If the car looks pretty they buy it – not checking to see if the engine needs attention. I know this to be true because I’ve done it – more than once. Shame on me!
This isn’t a new phenomenon because back in Old Testament times God spoke to Samuel when he was searching for the next king.
1Sam. 16:7 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. NIV
Life is not just about the external. A tennis star of years past said that ‘Image is everything’ but that statement is not true.
Jesus said: Matt. 23:25 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.”
Character is to be the foundation for life and it starts on the inside. People may be drawn to a person’s outward charm or the magnetism but if there is no character fueling the presentation – shallowness exists. Beware!
To build character and a firm foundation you must take some time to look inside – you must examine yourself – you must look beneath the surface – you must take an x-ray. Real beauty is more than skin deep!
This is a difficult assignment because what we see inside isn’t always pretty. As mystifying and perplexing as this may be – it must be done because living a full life – demands an awareness of what’s going on inside.
There are people walking around today unaware they have a ticking bomb inside them. A tumor that may be cancerous – a aneurism that is ready to explode or a heart condition that needs attention. Without an X-ray they can’t deal with the problem because they are not aware a problem exists.
The Apostle Paul tells us to test ourselves.
2Cor. 13:5 “Test yourselves to make sure you are solid in the faith. Don’t drift along taking everything for granted. Give yourselves regular checkups. You need firsthand evidence, not mere hearsay that Jesus Christ is in you. Test it out. If you fail the test, do something about it.” MSG
We all need teachers to teach us and test us. We all need doctors to examine and check on our well being from time to time but you must not wait for others. You must test yourself! If you know how to take a ‘Selfie’ on your phone – You must learn to take an X-ray of your heart.