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Heart and Sole

Daily Devotional for January 20, 2017

Read: Matthew 23:1-12

Bible version changes do not affect the Key audio or "Today's Key Verse," below.

Timothy beamed as he picked up a shoe from the display table. "This is the kind I want, Mom!" Mom looked doubtful. "They're the best!" insisted Timothy. "All the guys are getting shoes like this. The ad on TV says the special soles reduce the pounding you get from the gym floor." Timothy imagined what his friends would say if he showed up at practice wearing these shoes. He looked at his mother hopefully, but she was moving away.

"How about this one?" asked Mom, showing him a shoe similar to the one Timothy was holding.

Tim made a face and shook his head. "Nobody buys that brand."

Mom sighed in exasperation. "Timothy, I want to buy shoes you like, but I'm not going to pay a lot of money just so you can have a certain brand."

"But I don't want any other shoes!"

"Then you can just get along with your old ones," Mom said firmly, and she hurried him out of the store.

"Who was at the door?" Dad asked at dinner that night.

"It was Joey," Timothy said with a scowl. "He just came to show off his new skateboard. He just got one a few months ago, but he bought another one. He just got it to impress the guys. It's disgusting."

Mom looked surprised. "So we shouldn't buy things just to impress others?"

Puzzled, Timothy shook his head. "Of course not."

"But weren't you wanting to do the same thing when we were out shopping today?" asked Mom. "Didn't you want a certain shoe brand just to impress other kids and build yourself up in the eyes of your friends?"

Timothy looked at the floor. "Well...maybe."

Mom sighed. "I understand the desire to want nice things, Timothy, but wanting things just to impress others isn't good. It makes you focus too much on possessions and how they make you look to other people instead of what really matters--a close relationship with God, which gives us the desire to serve Him and love others. People should know you by the way you treat them and show them God's love, not by the things you own. They should know you by your heart, not your shoes." Cynthia Y. Powell

Do you want name-brand clothing and other things everybody else seems to have? It’s good to dress your best and look nice, but that shouldn’t be your focus in your interactions with others. Popular items come and go, but the way you treat others will stay in their minds long after. Focus on showing others God’s love instead of showing off, and others will take notice.

TODAY'S KEY VERSE: Matthew 23:12 (KJV)
Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.
*Verse displayed is NKJV

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