What Photos Can’t Show


One of the first photographs ever taken (1839) was of an American photographer taking a picture of himself–perhaps history’s first “selfie.”  Fast forward to today, there are tens of millions of selfies posted on social media sites around the world every year.  Many of the pictures record events and relationships.  But far too many are of individuals taking images of themselves alone–the “Look at me!” variety of selfie.

The problem with any picture, selfie or otherwise, is that it only records what is on the outside.  The camera has yet to be invented (and never will be) that can photograph the spiritual status of the heart, soul, or mind.  And that is the part of us God is most concerned about.  When Samuel was sent to anoint Israel’s new king, God told him not to anoint a man who looked like a king.  Instead, he was to anoint a man who had the heart of a king, a heart after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14; Acts 13:22).

Those viewing your photos can’t see your heart, but God can.  Make sure He finds in you a heart that is pursuing Him.

But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him.  For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

Dr. David Jeremiah, Turning Points Devotional, July 5, 2017


A man’s heart is what he is.

~ R.B. Kuiper

This particular devotional really stood out to me when I first read it, and I have been thinking about it ever since.

As a Christian, I have instinctively known that much of the ills, sins, hatred, rebellion, and crimes of humans stem from a “heart” issue.  I’m talking about the spiritual state of humans as they go about their everyday lives.  Why are some humans prone to do such evil?  Why are others prone to sexually abuse?  Why are others prone to spew hatred?  Why are others prone to commit murder?

All of these terrible situations are ultimately derived from heart/spiritual problems.

Jer 17:9

“The heart is deceitful above all things,
And desperately wicked;
Who can know it?

Readers might be thinking, “no…not MY heart!  I’m good!  Well, most of the time.”  No one wants to admit the obvious!  Jeremiah 17:9 is truth, and we all must face that fact.

Fortunately, Jeremiah doesn’t end with verse 9.  In verse 10, the prophet explains:

Jer 17:10

I, the LORD, search the heart,
I test the mind,
Even to give every man according to his ways,
According to the fruit of his doings.

When a person is “after God’s own heart,” he/she is much less likely to do evil.  I’m not saying such people are perfect (for, no one is – “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”) however, when Jesus enters into a man or woman and indwells his or her heart through the power of the Holy Spirit, the spiritual strength that we had lacked here-to-fore becomes stronger with Christ “at the wheel” of our journey.  Such a process is called “sanctification” and it is a life-long journey.  We can never completely arrive as “sanctified” until we are at home in Heaven with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Knowing that Jesus Christ took the punishment that every human being who has ever lived deserved; and that confessing and repenting of such sins and asking Jesus to indwell our hearts through the Holy Spirit saves us from spiritual death, why would anyone want to reject the Gospel message?

Jer 17:14

Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed;
Save me, and I shall be saved,
For You are my praise.

Hat tips:
Turning Points Devotional, July 5, 2017
Blue Letter Bible
Graphics links

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10 Responses to “What Photos Can’t Show”

  1. GMpilot Says:

    Those viewing your photos can’t see your heart, but God can. Make sure He finds in you a heart that is pursuing Him.

    But he ‘knows the end before the beginning’, doesn’t he? So he already knows what’s in a person’s heart. He knew the hearts of Jeffrey Dahmer and Hitler and Muhammad Atta before they were even born. He knew the hearts of Rodger Young and Jonas Salk and Christine Watson, too. He developed the negatives!
    Besides, hadn’t you heard that ‘spirit photography’ came and went over a century ago?

    Hearts (or spirits or whatever you’re calling them) are reflected in what their owners do, not what they say.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Cry and Howl Says:

    And Jeffery Dahmer, Hitler, Muhammad Atta, Rodger Young Jonas Salk and Christine Watson all fit into God’s eternal plan of which you Mr. Pilot fit perfectly as well whether you like it or not.

    Liked by 1 person

    • christinewjc Says:

      Hi Steve! Been away from the blog for several weeks, but wanted to say thank you for commenting!

      What you wrote reminded me that we “see as through a glass darkly” on this side of heaven. An analogy could be that the tapestry being woven by God is seen by many to be the “wrong side of the fabric.” Only later will it be revealed to us (when we reach heaven) what a beautiful tapestry was being created by our Lord all along…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Cry and Howl Says:

        Thank you Christine! I sure hope you and your family are doing good!

        Liked by 1 person

      • christinewjc Says:

        Hi Steve!
        So good to see you blogging and commenting again! Left a few comments on your latest blog posts.

        We are doing well, and thanks for always being so kind to consider how we are doing! At our age, we just never know how much more time the good Lord Jesus has planned for us. We have lost several friends over the last year, and it’s really sad to know that some never made the decision to believe in Jesus Christ.

        Many people these days just “don’t want to hear it.” All we can do is share the gospel and for those unwilling to listen, pray for their salvation.

        Hope you are getting much better during your recuperation from surgery! God bless!

        In Jesus,


    • GMpilot Says:

      If God has an ‘eternal plan’ and my life is part of it, and God’s will can’t be thwarted, then all that talk of us having ‘free will’ is nothing more than a lie.
      Fortunately, steve, that matters only if such a God actually exists. Got evidence?


      • Cry and Howl Says:

        Rest assured your life and beyond is part of God’s plan. God honors our “free will.” So if whatever path you choose, what would you like Him to do say, “Hey GMpilot! Don’t make that choice because it’s a bad one!” Knowing what we’re going to do has nothing to do with our free will to do good or evil. I’ve been around Christines’s blog for somewhere around 9 years and read your dialogue with her from time to time. I think she’s done a pretty thorough job of presenting the truth to you. If you won’t listen to her, surely you won’t listen to me. Oh and yes sir, I have plenty of evidence that God exists. Do you have any that He doesn’t?
        The bottom line is one of us is right and the other is wrong. If perhaps I’m wrong, I’ve lost nothing. There is nothing in this life that I’ve “missed out” on.
        On the other hand, if you’re wrong …. well … eternity is a very long time. Anyway, I hope you and your loved ones are doing well and that you have a great weekend!


  3. GMpilot Says:

    Rest assured, you know nothing of this God’s ‘eternal plan’, and I do not care.
    Oh, I’ve listened to you, and our hostess, and all the others who have been here, and not one of them have provided evidence–just stories. If I were convinced of this God’s reality, I could believe in its plan, even if I objected to it. Instead, all I get is tales,and if I don’t believe, threats (“eternity is a very long time.”) Eternity doesn’t bother me; I’ve been there before.
    I don’t have to show that something doesn’t exist!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. christinewjc Says:

    Heb 11:6

    But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

    Jesus spoke to doubting Thomas and proclaimed:

    Jhn 20:29

    Jesus said to him, “Thomas,[fn] because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

    In the Old Testament, the Israelites were waiting for the coming Messiah. They did not live to see Him, however their hope for Him and belief that He would deliver them from their sin was enough at that time in history to save them.

    Isa 30:18

    Therefore the LORD will wait, that He may be gracious to you;
    And therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you.
    For the LORD is a God of justice;
    Blessed are all those who wait for Him.

    Jesus told us that ‘if we love Him, keep His commandments.” Belief in His sacrificial death on the cross saves us from the penalty for our sin. However, the sanctification process continues throughout a believer’s lifetime. That is why keeping His commandments shows our love for Jesus and what He did for us on the cross and the resurrection to life that is promised for all who believe in His Name.

    Rev 22:14

    Blessed are those who do His commandments,[fn] that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.

    All of Hebrews 11 is a description of faith and gives examples through history of those who held onto the faith.

    I especially like David Guzik’s commentary on Hebrews 11. He shows examples of faith to help the discouraged.

    Here is just a portion:

    A. Faith defined.

    1. (Hbr 11:1) A definition of faith.

    Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

    a. Now faith is the substance: Just as our physical eyesight is the sense that gives us evidence of the material world, faith is the “sense” that gives us evidence of the invisible, spiritual world.

    i. Faith has its reasons. The Bible doesn’t recommend a “blind leap” of faith. But the reasons can’t be measured in a laboratory; they have to be understood spiritually. “Faith extends beyond what we learn from our senses, and the author is saying that it has its reasons. Its tests are not those of the senses, which yield uncertainty.” (Morris)

    ii. “Physical eyesight produces a conviction or evidence of visible things; faith is the organ which enables people to see the invisible order.” (Bruce)

    b. Of things hoped for… of things not seen: If you have the substance before you or if you can see it, there is no use for faith. Faith is needed for what we can’t see and can’t touch.

    i. Faith does not contradict reason, though it may go beyond reason. One may objectively prove the Bible is the most unique book ever published and has impacted society more than any other book. But only faith can prove that the Bible is the Word of God. Therefore, this is a belief beyond reason but not in contradiction to reason or against reason.

    c. Faith is the substance… the evidence: Faith is not a bare belief or intellectual understanding. It is a willingness to trust in, to rely on, and to cling to.

    People can refuse to have faith in Jesus Christ. That is their free will choice. However, there is a caveat regarding faith! It is revealed very well in Mr. Guzik’s paragraph below (that faith is of things hoped for…of things not seen).

    b. Of things hoped for… of things not seen: If you have the substance before you or if you can see it, there is no use for faith.

    Faith is needed for what we can’t see and can’t touch.


    • GMpilot Says:

      If you have faith, you don’t want facts; if you have facts, you don’t need faith.
      Facts are harder to alter than faith, but they last a lot longer.


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