a great day to remember that looks can be deceiving.
“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 God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’” 1 Samuel 16:7 NASB
When God became unhappy with Saul as King of Israel, He gave Samuel instructions on where to find the one who would be anointed to replace him. He sent Samuel to Bethlehem to find a man named Jesse and his sons, one of whom God had selected to be Israel’s next king. When Jesse presented his seven sons to Samuel, he instantly thought that he knew, just by looking, which one God had selected. “When they entered, he looked at Eliab and thought, ‘Surely the Lord’s anointed is before Him.’” (1 Samuel 16:6 NASB).
Samuel’s assumption proved wrong because he was thinking the way human beings think, even today. Far too often we are more concerned with how someone or something appears than we are with who they are, or what the truth is. When it comes to physical appearance, we are constantly shown people with beautiful exteriors on television and in newspapers and magazines. It is entirely possible, and likely, that at least some of these individuals have hearts that reflect the character of God, but this is not what we are “sold” or taught to emulate. Society’s focus is on appearances and we are programmed to reject that which is not physically attractive or appetizing in others and even in ourselves.
A famous actress, who was quite attractive physically, once played a role which required her to wear a “fat suit.” The “suit,” along with facial make up changed her outward appearance dramatically. She decided, one day, to wear the “suit” and makeup out in public to gauge the reaction of people. What she discovered, while not surprising, was rather sad and certainly did not show society in a good light. This woman claimed that in her “normal” appearance, men opened doors for her, men and women both smiled and said “hello,” were pleasant, and were drawn to her. But in her “role” as fat woman, she admitted that she was stunned, ashamed, and embarrassed at the difference in the way people responded to her. She claimed that it was almost as if she had ceased to exist. No longer were doors opened, and no longer was she greeted with smiles. Instead of being drawn to her, people stayed away from her.
And the whole time, the part of her that God sees never changed.
How many opportunities for true friendship have you missed because your opinion of someone’s worth to you was based on appearances? How many opportunities for honesty, humor, caring, compassion, and laughter have you passed up because a person’s physical appearance was not up to your standards?
Today, and every day, we must look for God in everyone we meet and remind ourselves that outward appearances can be deceiving.
Taken from “TODAY IS….A Gift From God”, (C) 2013 Tony Casson