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Hidden Imperfections

August 30, 2019
by Joel Jongkind   —   Audio controls are below the devotional to listen to this devotional or to hymn music while you read

2 Corinthians 10:7a – Do you look at things according to the outward appearance? (NKJV)

We have a wooden deck behind half of our house. It is a place where we can sit when the weather is good. It is about three feet (one metre) off the ground, with four steps at one end to take us down to the lawn, the vegetable garden, the flower beds, and the back door of the garage.

Every other year or so, the woodwork needs to be scraped and repainted. The job has been on my to-do list since last winter, but mainly because we had a very wet spring here in southern Ontario, Canada, I did not get around to doing it. In July, one of our daughters and her husband spent a week with us, and he asked me if there was anything that he could help me with. We decided that it was a good time to start that work. Armed with scrapers and sandpaper, we proceeded. Pretty quickly, we discovered that even though some of the railings looked good on the outside, they were rotten on the inside, so we had no choice but to replace the rotten ones.

With social media the way it is today, we quite often hear of prominent people in high places who are like the railings on our deck: they look all right, they are well dressed, and people think highly of them. Then, we are told that their lifestyle is not what it appears to be. They don't seem to know the difference between right and wrong.

This reminded me of the time when Jesus talked about this very subject, and addressed the very people guilty of it:

Matthew 23:27 – Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness. (NKJV)

So often, we look at the outward demeanour of the people around us that we look up to, but they turn out to be different than we thought them to be. Unfortunately, we, too, are full of flaws and imperfections that we like to hide from others, so that they think that we are better than we are. But God is not fooled: He looks at everyone's hearts — including ours. It is not how we look, or how well off we are, or even what we say we believe, but rather our private thoughts, the decisions that we make, and our attitudes towards others that God truly sees and weighs. He is looking for integrity, moral purity, and the fruit of the Spirit within us, so that we really are what we appear to others to be.

Think about it: are we really the way we look and talk, or do we, too, have hidden imperfections?

Prayer: Our Father in heaven, forgive us for those times when we try to put on an act and pretend to be something that we are not. We pray that we will always be true to You in our thoughts and attitudes, as well as in our words and actions. We ask it in Jesus' name. Amen.


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Listen while you read: "Who Is He In Yonder Stall" (Lyrics)

About the author:

Joel Jongkind <austria67@bmts.com>
Meaford, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Amen, Joel.


    Thank you, Joel, for this lesson.


    This is an excellent devotional as His always are.


    Thank you for your thought-provoking devotional.


    Thanks, Joel, for sharing this devotional message with us. Blessings.


    Thank you, Joel, for your understanding and strength today. Blessings on your walk with God.


    “It is not how we look, or how well off we are, or even what we say we believe, but rather our private thoughts, the decisions that we make, and our attitudes towards others that God truly sees and weighs. He is looking for integrity, moral purity, and the fruit of the Spirit within us, so that we really are what we appear to others to be.”
    Thank you, Joel, especially for the above lines.
    Keep writing, for Jesus’ sake.


    Hello Joel,
    Thank you for this morning’s devotional. Yes, we need be ever aware of our behaviour and especially what we say, so that we show respect to our Lord and therefore others will know and see how the Lord is present in our lives.
    Important too, when a wrong thought or idea crosses our mind, we must ask the Lord’s forgiveness and follow His plan for us.
    Blessings to you.
    (B.C.)


    Great devotional again, Joel!
    After I read and pondered your message, I was thinking about what you said… so right on!
    Then another ‘angle’ of your message struck me. Even though you ‘hadn’t got around to the job yet’ (I identified with that), did it ever cross your mind that perhaps it wasn’t ‘the right time’. BUT, with your son-in-law coming and offering to help with ‘something’, you had a job that was less stressful because there were two of you to replace what ‘He’ knew needed to be done. Imagine how much more difficult it might have been with having to replace the rotten wood all by yourself! God sent a ‘helper’ and sure must have made an onerous task less stressful.
    Thanks for your message … such a clear analogy and ‘heads up’ for us all.


    Hi Joel,
    I really enjoyed reading your devotional! It calls to mind 1 Samuel 6:17.
    Blessings.

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