Summary: The changes God wants to see in us.
Extreme Makeover: A Broken Heart
Sunday, March 5th, 2006
Beartown Road Alliance Church
Have you seen the Extreme Makeover shows? I like the one, the Home Edition. The makeover crew comes into the home of a very well-deserving family and in 7 days they gut the place and turn it into a highly functional dream home. They’ve made over a home for a family with a son who is paralyzed, they made over a home for a youth pastor that gave him the room he needed for his teens. The stories are compelling, the crew is fun to watch, and the end results are amazing. Then there’s the other Extreme Makeover show. This is the one that is a beautiful picture of the shallow society that we live in. This is the one that has us all wondering if our knees are too chubby or our nose is too big, or our forehead is too saggy. This is the show that preys on our insecurities and our lack of contentment with who we are. People subject themselves to months of surgeries and treatments to become who they’ve always wanted to be. I remember the only episode I saw, they took a young lady who was a wife and mother of 3. She had great kids, a loving husband, and a supportive family. None of them could understand why she wanted a makeover. I looked at her and she looked fine. But in her mind, the outer package was far from acceptable and it affected every aspect of her life. She was miserable! In her mind, a makeover, changing the outer would lead to inner happiness and contentment. You know what? I guarantee you it didn’t work. I guarantee you that she will just find new things to feel insecure about, and different areas to focus on. Even an extreme makeover, hours of surgery and healing can’t change the person that you are.
But the show manages to sell the message loud and clear: What you look like determines who you are. The package, the outer picture is what’s going to lead to inner peace and happiness. And for many, it’s a message that we’ve fallen for. We put a lot of stock into the outward appearances. We focus on the things man looks at instead of what God looks at.
The theme verse for this series is found in the second half of 1 Samuel 16:7.
The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."
Man looks at the outward appearance, I think we fall into this trap even in Christianity. Maybe in slightly different ways but many of us spend so much time focused on the “outer Christianity,” the things that people see, that we neglect what God really wants to do in our lives. We go to church, we dress nicely, I wear a suit and tie on a Sunday morning, it doesn’t make me a better preacher or a better pastor. If I took this jacket off, or I took this tie off, it doesn’t make me any less God’s man for this ministry. Just like if you put on a suit and tie and stood up here on the stage, it wouldn’t necessarily make you a pastor. My passion to preach and to serve, my calling in life, comes from here, on the inside. It comes from the internal work of the Spirit of God in my life and it flows into the outer parts of my life that men can see. What I wear, how I comb my hair, whether or not I raise my hand when I worship, those things don’t change that.
There are others who try and look good on the outside and give of their time and they give of their money, and those are great things, but they don’t matter if we’re dead on the inside. We can play the game, we can look the part, we can makeover the outer parts so that men think we’re a super Christian, but just like a nose job doesn’t change who you are, superficial changes and shallow religion, those don’t change us and they don’t impress the only one that matters, God.
When we first got married, there were a lot of areas that Erin had to train me in. I grew up in a home with a mother that did everything for me. She cooked, she did my laundry, She cleared the table and did the dishes, so there were a lot of things that I didn’t know how to do well and really wasn’t all that enthusiastic about learning. I can’t tell you how many times in the early months of our marriage that she would call into the kitchen and hold up a dish or a cup that I had washed and point out the stuff that I had left behind. I had a big problem with our glasses. My hand was too big to fit inside so I would wash the outside well and then just kind of rinse the inside which often left stuff stuck in the bottom of the cup. I would point out how clean the outside was but it didn’t matter, if the inside was dirty, the glass couldn’t be used. Thank goodness for dishwashers!