1 Samuel 16:7 (NKJV)
7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
This devotional stings a little, but I have to be faithful to deliver the message the Lord places on my heart. You see, we have a tendency to judge, and we do it very quickly, we have become good at it. We can be walking down a street and judge fifty people without talking to a single one of them. That guy is short, that girl must be homeless, that dude looks mean, that person has to be poor, and so on. How much differently would we view the world, through the forgiving eyes of Christ?
What Does God See?
We walk through town and instantly label people. It is not right for us to do so, but I know if you are reading this, you have done this at least once. But, what does God see when he looks through a town? We see felon, He sees His child. We see an ugly dude like me, He sees His perfect child. We see drug dealer, He sees a child that has fallen away. We see an addict, He sees a child ready to return to Him. We see broken, He sees mended. God does not look at things the same way we do. We only see where a person is and where they have been, God sees where they are going and what they ultimately will be. We see a work in progress, God sees the finished masterpiece.
Don’t Get Me Wrong
Romans 5:12 reminds us… (12) Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned… While it is inappropriate to judge a person before knowing their story, we cannot be naive either, there are sinful people in the world. That guy that looks mean, may actually be mean.
Love Is The Answer
1 John 4:7 encourages… (7) Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God… Whether they know it or not, everyone we are so quick to judge are children of God. 1 Timothy 2:4 explains how God feels about His lost children… (4) who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth… We must love one another enough to look past the label we apply and seek people’s true character. Love is truly the answer.
We can look at those around us and label them before ever getting to know them. We must start to look at people the way God looks at them, as children of God… our brothers and sisters.
1 John 3:1 (NKJV)
1 Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.