1 Samuel 16:7b ESV
For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.
In today’s world, we are constantly faced with images of outward beauty and how we should look. It can cause dissatisfaction with ourselves, as well as negative self-talk. It can make us feel good when we look good according to the world, but what happens when we don’t live up to the expectations? Does our self-worth diminish because of this?
God is quick to tell us he does not see us the same way the people of this world see us. He doesn’t look on the outward appearance, but at the heart. What if we stop to consider what our heart looks like today?
One of my favorite Bible stories – I have many if you haven’t noticed yet – is when David was chosen by God to be the next king. Like a biblical version of Cinderella, David wasn’t given a second look. He wasn’t even given a first look! When Jesse was told one of his sons was chosen by God to be anointed as king, he brought all of them out to Samuel except for David.
1 Samuel 16:6-11 NIV
6 When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, “Surely the LORD’s anointed stands here before the LORD.”
7 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.”
8 Then Jesse called Abinadab and had him pass in front of Samuel. But Samuel said, “The LORD has not chosen this one either.” 9 Jesse then had Shammah pass by, but Samuel said, “Nor has the LORD chosen this one.” 10 Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, “The LORD has not chosen these.” 11 So he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?”
“There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered. “He is tending the sheep.”
Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.”
When David was brought to Samuel, the Lord told him to anoint him because he was the one. No one expected this because they had their own vision of what a king should look like. They didn’t consider David’s heart in the matter.
The next time you catch yourself judging your appearance, instead look at where your heart is, talk to God, and consider what He sees in you.
1 Timothy 4:8 NIV
8 For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.