My wife, Barbara, is a careful shopper when it comes to buying healthy and nutritious food. No matter how attractive the packaging looks, she checks the list of ingredients on the back of the box. Lots of difficult-to-pronounce words usually announce the presence of preservatives that work against good nutrition. She always puts those items back on the shelf and continues to look for labels with lists of natural food products that contribute to good health.

I have often thought that her shopping habits are a lot like what God is looking for in our lives: It's what is on the inside that counts, regardless of how attractive the outside might be. It's no wonder that the wisdom-teller  of Proverbs warns us to guard what goes into our hearts, "for out of it spring the issues of life" (Prov. 4:23). Wearing the right fashions and keeping ourselves looking young are of little importance if our hearts harbor greed, hatred, self-pity, and other counter-productive contents.

Ask yourself: When people get past the packaging of my life, do they experience a heart full of healthy, Christ like ingredients?