Outward appearances can be deceiving, but that is how most of us judge people. I’ve always heard about first impressions being the most important, and your outward appearance is what people notice first. Here is why you can’t judge a book by its cover…
If you ever worked in a bank, you probably already know that someone’s appearance isn’t a good representation of their financial status. I heard of a multi-millionaire who loved his farm and was always dressed in muddy boots, stained shirts, worn-out jeans and overalls, and a dirty hat. If you passed him on the street, you would have never guessed that he was one of the largest landowners in the state.
On the other hand, if you saw a gentleman dressed in a sharp-looking suit getting out of an expensive car, you would think he was financially wealthy. However, he could be struggling to make ends meet and worried that his car would be repossessed.
Let’s be honest; we live in a world that makes a snap judgment on everything we do. How we wear our hair, the car we drive, how we dress, the house we live in, the vacation we post about, and thousands of other details that are all superficial. All of those things can be deceiving and shouldn’t even matter.
1 Samuel 16:7
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.”
Samuel was sent to find a replacement for Saul, and he was impressed by Eliab because of his outward appearance. But the Lord ignored all of that and looked at his heart instead. The Lord knew that David’s heart was what He was looking for even though he didn’t have the outward appearance of a King.
When I think about the Lord judging me by my heart and not what the world sees, I worry that I would be like Eliab. My appearance is important for my job, but my heart is important to the Lord. Does He see kindness, love, and humility? Or does He see the seven deadly sins of pride, envy, gluttony, greed, lust, sloth, and wrath?
The thought humbles me, and I pray that the Lord forgives me for putting more emphasis on my appearance than on my heart. I’ll also be working on looking beyond the appearances of others and instead try to be more like Christ, who looked at the heart and loved without condition.