“Man looks at the outward appearance,
but the LORD looks at the heart.”
(1 Samuel 16:7)
Samuel had been sent by God to Jesse to anoint one of his sons as the next King of Israel after Saul. When he saw the eldest son Eliab he was impressed by his appearance and height and thought he was the ‘Lord’s anointed.’ However God corrected him with the above words.
It is a good reminder to us to pause and consider the way in which we assess and judge people. There is a great emphasis in the world today upon physical appearance, attractiveness and prowess. There is also a tendency to judge people on their words and actions. In both instances we can very easily ignore the heart, or inner person, concerned and fail to see the turmoil, pain, inadequacy and fear that might be there – as well as failing to notice any lack of morals or integrity.
We can take great comfort in the fact that God does not judge us only by our words and actions but understands more fully than we do where they are coming from. We should also be prepared to pause before condemning or lauding others only on their outward appearance or performance. There may well be other truth or factors to consider.
Father please help me to be more aware of those around me and to see more of the real person than is revealed by their appearance, words and actions. Amen.