The Lord sees not as man sees, for man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.
–1 Samuel 16:7 ESV
The next time you enter a room full of strangers, notice to whom you’re drawn and whom you (even unconsciously) ignore.
Many of us make snap judgments about people based on their outward appearance. Even the prophet Samuel did it—David, the virtual runt of the litter, would not have been his choice for Israel’s next king. God knew better!
Do we carefully avoid those whose appearance suggests they have little to offer or might somehow diminish our reputations? Scripture’s clear—it’s important to be careful about the company we keep, to gather with those who inspire us to follow God’s ways, and to steer clear of those who question the value of obedience to God.
Dare to be different! Free those with an off-putting social presence by showing them that God-in-us judges them based on what’s happening on the inside. Any of us overly concerned about our appearance or external “performance” will also be liberated by that choice.
People’s faces and clothing often reflect what’s in their hearts, but their value is determined by so much more. Let’s imitate our wonderful God and dig for the gold under everyone’s different layer of rubble!
- Open the eyes of my heart, Father, so I might delight to see people as You see them.
- Help me choose to get to know someone this week who, for any number of external reasons, is initially off-putting to me.