Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. 1 Cor. 15:58


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Day 94: Tear your heart: Not your clothes

Joel 2:12-13

That is why the Lord  says,
"Turn to me now, while there is time.
Give me your hearts.
Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning.
Don't tear your clothing in your grief,
but tear your hearts instead.


Part of me is sorry that this is kinda of another 'not so uplifting' post.  But only a part of me because the other part is so touched by this verse-- and am so happy that God led me to it.  I nearly have tears as I write this (I could be a *bit* emotional....)

I want to focus on the last 2 lines-- "Don't tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead."

If you read the Old Testament, lots of times people got very upset and tore their clothes in grief.  Mordecai did in Esther when King Xerxes ordered all Jews killed.  It was a pretty common thing to do in grief. It was an outward symbol of an inward feeling.

It was mainly for show--- or it could be used in such a way.

Sometimes, people show grief outwardly because they feel they have too. I'm not saying that Mordecai did that, but sometimes people go through the motions of outward mourning because it is what you are 'supposed' to do.  Some (not all) send Sympathy cards, send food, wear black more from tradition than from grief.  Sure they are grieved-- but the outward symbols are more a sense of "what I'm supposed to do".

God doesn't care if you wear black at a funeral.  It doesn't matter to him if you wear brown sackcloth and don't cut your hair.  What he DOES care about is your heart.

The main thing I got out of these verses is that God cares about what is in your heart much more than how you show yourself outwardly.  He focuses on the inside-- not on the outside.  If you've done something wrong and feel bad about it, don't just go through the motions of someone who is sorry-- REALLY be sorry.  REALLY 'tear your heart' and truly feel it inside.  No one else has to know.  It doesn't have to be a big production.  But it means everything to God.

God Bless you :)



  1. Hi Kelly, thank you for this biblestudy. I'm not sure I can find the right English words but I want to say you that I am very pleased with this honest blog. God sees our heart. And I want give my heart to Him with all my sorrow, ups and downs. My sins, in return for His righteousness. God sees not only my aging surface, he sees who I really am and thats why I love it to walk with Him all days.

  2. Hi Kelly - excellent post. Straight to the heart of the matter.
    God bless

  3. This is really good,Kelly, "It doesn't matter to him if you wear brown sackcloth and don't cut your hair. What he DOES care about is your heart." Man looks at the outward appearance - and is impressed. But God looks at our heart. Many blessings!

  4. Thank you so much for your comments. It means a lot when you take the time to do that.