I look at models, actresses, singers, and such people on t.v. and they all appear to be so happy and to have it all. I think it would be safe to say that we all have, at least had the thought, “it must be nice to have it all” cross our mind. And if we are to be completely honest about it, we have had moments of envy towards such people. It is so easy to think that someone is so happy and living a great life by looking at their outward appearance. The huge smile with the pearly white teeth shining. The makeup that is put on so precise that their face appears flawless. The jewelry glistening from their neck. It all appears to be rainbows and sunshine for them.
But what if we peeled off the layers of make up and clothes and looked inside of their heart and soul. I wonder what we would find. Would we still see that pearly white smile and joy in their heart? Would we see a fearless confident person? Would we see a heart that is whole and complete? It saddens me to say this but often times the “made up” beauty on the outside is covering up the ashes on the inside. Behind the fame and glam they are broken and searching for peace and wholeness. They are hurting from past trauma and have rejection issues. They dream of being worthy and loved for who they are and not for what they do. But they do a great job at covering it up and putting on a show for the people to see. They hide it so well that you would never imagine that some of them have come from a horrendous past.
For case and point, I watch a lot of documentary shows and have seen several on celebrities life stories. Some of the biggest celebrities with the brightest lives come from the darkest places. Stories of people that, from the outside, appear to be so happy and fulfilled, but are actually riddled with shame, pain, anger, and worthlessness. I would never picture that many of those people went threw the things they did and deal with the daily internal issues that they do. They appear to be all put together but the reality is that they are miserable and a mess.
We never know what a person has experienced in their life. We do not know the trauma that they have gone threw. We do not know what scars they bare on their heart. All we see is what a person wants us to see. Although there are some things that poke their ugly heads out no matter how hard we try to hide them. Things like quick tempers, lack of patience, defensive behaviors, trust issues, and sharp tongues (says wrong or hurtful things), are some of the things that we can’t cover up. No amount of make up, clothes, jewelry, or smiles can cover up our attitudes and how we treat people. These are the things that show how we feel on the inside. They are a reflection of our heart.
If we want to get to know someone we have to look past their outer shell. We can’t assume that someone is perfectly fine just because they appear to be. If we are going to be able to love other’s as Jesus commands us we are going to have to look a little deeper into a person. We have to look past the make up and the smile so we can see into their heart. If we take the time to look at a persons heart we can possibly fill an unspoken need that they have. They may need encouragement to get threw the day. They may need to hear that someone cares about them to help fight the lies of worthlessness that the enemy has put in their head. They may need some motivation to keep on keeping on the daily grind. There are so many ways that we can help build a person up and show them love if we take the time to look into their heart.
Even those negative emotions and attitudes that show their ugly heads from time to time can tell us a lot about the condition of a persons heart. For example, a person that shows a lot of anger often has a lot of hurt and pain inside. A person with a quick temper often has a lot of stress or worry going on inside of them. A person that seems to keep you at a certain distance from getting to know them often has shame or trust issues in their heart. And by us taking the time to show them attention, concern, and love could help them be able to release some of the burden that is holding them down. Because you took the time to look past the smile and were interested in how they are really doing it showed them that someone does really care about how they are doing and they feel less alone and more loved. There are countless ways that God can use our interactions and words to help someone. All He needs us to do is be willing to take the time out to look past a persons outer shell and let Him guide us in our interactions with them while we show them true compassion. I often approach this with the treat others as you would want to be treated “rule.” I try to put myself in the other persons shoes and ask myself, “what would I want someone to say or do for me if I were feeling the way that they are?” It helps me to at least be able to show compassion towards them and sometimes that is all that they need, to know that someone else cares.