Don’t Throw Paint at a Heart Problem

I feel a little guilty. The other day, I set a beautiful piece of furniture out by the road for trash pickup. However, before the garbage crew arrived, some unlucky person thought it was a steal and snatched it.

What’s wrong with that? Let me back up the story.

When I first purchased the hutch, it was ordinary and old, but with a friend’s help, I transformed it into a Pinterest-worthy piece.

But there was one problem. While I thought it would look perfect in my home, a bug had already made it his home.

I first suspected something was wrong when I moved the hutch from my parent’s garage to my new house. Initially, I dismissed the sawdust inside one of the drawers as a side effect of moving. Someone probably knocked the wood during the haul.

Then, the other week, a fresh mound of sawdust appeared on the carpet, and my skin crawled. I enlisted my family to move it curbside.

I thought about setting out a sign to warn people not to pick it up. But what would I say? “Warning: Bug Living in Furniture”? That just sounded weird.

Besides, people might not believe me. From the outside, the hutch looked perfect.

But pretty is only paint deep. Burrowing inside is something that will ultimately destroy it.

A Heart Problem

That bug is a little like sin. People tend to focus on the external. We have only to glance at a magazine or newspaper advertisement to be reminded that society obsesses over appearance.

On the other hand, God cares about the heart.

  • Proverbs 31:30 – “Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised” (NKJV).
  • I Samuel 16:7 – “For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (NKJV).

On our own, we can add a few layers of paint, but we can’t solve the root of the problem. Only God can. His work transforms from the inside out, making us brand new.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV)

Becoming God’s child is a lot easier than figuring out how to treat an infested piece of furniture. All we have to do is confess that we can’t fix our sin problem on our own and instead trust that Jesus took care of it once and for all when he died on a cross and rose again, victorious over sin and death.

For Reflection

Looking back, I should have somehow warned people not to pick up the hutch. More importantly, though, I need to be sharing with others the good news that Jesus loves them and can give them a clean heart and a fresh start.

  • Has God placed people in your life who need to hear the gospel? What’s holding you back from witnessing to them and warning them about the destructive nature of sin?
  • Is there sin in your own life you need to confess so that it doesn’t hinder your relationship with God?
  • Have you been focusing too much on outward appearances and circumstances? Spend time in God’s Word to learn what He values (I Peter 3:3-4).

Please leave your thoughts in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you!

~ Kristen

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Don’t Throw Paint at a Heart Problem – @kjhogrefe (Click to Tweet)

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