A perfect tree with green leaves in the shape of sphere with roots underground. This is a 3d render illustration

What is the most important part of a tree? We might think it is the part above the ground because it is what we see, but the root, the part we don’t see, is what makes the tree beautiful. The root provides food and water for growth and strength to endure storms.

It is that way with us too. People might judge us on our outward appearance, but our value is inside, the part of us people do not see first. We get food for physical nourishment so our bodies grow strong. We also feed our minds with what we read or watch on movies or TV.

As a young mother I told my children, “Garbage in, garbage out.” I wanted them to choose wisely what they read, watched or listened to. It’s easy to become self-indulged or self-centered by soaking in all the things that are important to us. That’s how I was for too many years, more than I want to admit. That mindset took me down a road to destruction. Nothing good came of my selfish endeavors.

I finally asked God for help and began to read my Bible. I learned about Jesus, His compassion and love for me. I learned about His promises and character. Then I wanted to be more like Him, to show love and compassion, forgiveness, mercy and hospitality. This is the part that grows on the inside but eventually can be seen on the outside. People see the good things we do. They see joy and peace instead of anxiety, anger or malice. These are roots that help others.


When Samuel went to the home of Jesse to anoint the new king of Israel, God said, “People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7). Out of all Jesse’s sons, God chose David, the youngest boy. He was out tending sheep. Do you wonder what set David apart from the others? He had a heart for God. We can develop a heart for God by reading His word and spending time with Him in prayer. He is waiting to hear from you, and He’s always available. He neither slumbers or sleeps.


Father God, help us to be more like Jesus. Help us to have a heart like His–compassionate, forgiving and merciful. When the going gets tough, help us to turn to you and know our own strength so we might become the people you created us to be. In Jesus’ name, Amen.