The famous hymn writer Isaac Watts fell in love with a beautiful young woman, Elizabeth Singer.

For her part Elizabeth loved Isaac’s poetry, his mind, and his spirit.

Still, when he proposed marriage she replied, “Mr. Watts, if only I could say that I admire the jewelry box as much as I admire the jewel it contains.”

Wait, what?

The bottom line is she thought Isaac Watts was ugly. So she turned him down flat.

Throughout scripture we learn that God looks at the hearts of men and their motives, and not simply on outward appearances. Jeremiah 17:10, Proverbs 16:2, 1 Kings 8:39, Psalm 44:21, and Psalm 139:1 all lean into this. There is also what God told Samuel the prophet:

The Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

1 Samuel 16:7 NLT

Try as we might, we look at outward moments and appearances and judge people because of them. Almost as harshly as we sometimes judge ourselves.

It makes sense, actually. Because ME is the one person whose heart I know intimately. 

I know my stuff. My history. My habits. My motives. The evil I’m capable of. The ugliness that has nothing to do with how well I spiff myself up on the outside.

Arguably, if you knew me like I know me—you might not like me much.

But the point today has nothing to do with where we’ve been or what we’ve been. The point is simple:

Become someone you can admire.

But, how?

By working backwards.

I write about our worship of Father God. Of making it part of each of our daily practice and lifestyle.

The dictionary definition of Worship says it involves intense admiration, adoration, honor, and devotion to someone or something. Practically, worship is our response to God.

To trigger a positive change in my response to me, perhaps I need to become more like God. Perhaps I need to live better aligned with what he commands. Perhaps I need to love others like God does.

If I treated every choice, every action, every interaction of my life as a defining moment that either moves my needle TOWARDS Christlikeness or AWAY FROM Christlikeness, would that change my view of me?

I think it might.

Today, consider you. Take the first thing about you that comes to mind that feels less than admirable, and pray that God would change that area in your life to better reflect Him.

Today, move the needle. Every opportunity you take to become more like God, you will become more like someone you can admire.

And making that your daily response to God—

That’s worship.

–Pastor Steve