But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7 AMP).
Appearances are not all they seem, yet often, we judge based mainly on appearances. Not only as individuals, but as groups. What do I mean? Contextually, today’s Scripture is speaking about when Samuel was told by the Lord to go to Jesse’s house and anoint one of his sons as King. It’s a familiar Bible story, and we know that Samuel looked at this particular son of Jesse, based on what he physically looked like and thought this surely must be the new king. Yet, God tells him he isn’t and eludes that it is because of the contents of his heart. David was the youngest son of Jesse, the one who was probably the smallest at the time, and the one who had the job of tending the flocks. David, while keeping the sheep, developed an intimacy with the Lord that it was said he “was a man after God’s own heart.”
We can often unwittingly be like Samuel, looking at others and elevating them to a status they aren’t meant for simply because their hearts aren’t where they should be for that particular position. We can also demote those who God has lifted up if they don’t “look the part” as we think they ought. It is imperative that, like Samuel, we stay in lockstep with the Spirit of God to make sure we don’t make mistakes like this. Jesus was critical of the Pharisees, in part, because they were appearance and works based. Some churches today are very pharisaical in their approach to evangelism, servanthood, attendance and basic hospitality. Our positions shouldn’t be based on what we wear, where or how much we serve, how often we attend church, who we are friend’s with, or even our financial status. God positions us based on the content of our heart and how He sees it.
Let’s pray: Dear Papa, may we see others through the lens of Your Spirit and connect with Your heart in their heart. May we treat others the way we’d like to be treated and not judge them based on their appearance. We trust You to give us words to encourage and edify others, to build up, to help them walk the path You have set before them. We thank You and give You glory. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Today’s Attitude of Worship: Make a conscious effort to listen to the Spirit in all your communication and interaction with others.
Additional Scriptures: Proverbs 16:2; Luke 16:15, Luke 6:31