But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” – 1 Samuel 16:7 NIV
God had sent Samuel to Jesse’s house to anoint the next king of Israel. When Eliab, Jesse’s oldest son, was presented, Samuel believed that he would be the one to anoint. Apparently he was big and strong and kingly looking. But God had other plans, ultimately choosing David, the youngest son of Jesse. And what God told Samuel here is an important lesson for all of us
Outward appearances are important to many people, both for themselves, and for how they judge others around them. But outward appearances can be deceiving and are not really all that important? Does a clear complexion, white teeth, flat tummy, bulging muscles and designer clothes really make you more valuable? Or is what is on the inside of a person more important: their heart, mind and will?
I’m not sure that it is possible for us to completely ignore the packaging that a person is wrapped in. But how much better if, like God, we would learn to put more stock in the inner person. To value people for who they are rather than what they look like.