But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or his stature because I have rejected him. Man does not see what the Lord sees, for man sees what is visible, but the Lord sees the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7
I wonder if God knew how much we would need this verse in 2017?! Of course, he did! However, I’m sure Samuel could have never known how much we would. In this day and age, the constant bombardment of images from social media makes this verse more relevant than we could have ever imagined.
Think for a moment about the images posted on social media. How many people post pictures with messy hair, no make-up, losing their temper with their children or when their kid misses the pitch that loses the game? I know before I post anything my children want to “approve it”. They want to ensure that they look a certain way, that there isn’t anything embarrassing about it or I don’t put a “weird” comment with it. It’s all about an image we are trying to create. Our own personal PR campaign through social media. It works too because this world looks at the outward appearance. I know people who have become depressed because they don’t have it all together like an old friend from high school that (from social media) seems to have the perfect children, travel all the time and have a happy marriage. The sad part of this is when the friend learned her friend was getting a divorce and all that seemed so well had been an illusion.
We look at what is visible and able to be seen with the eye. The Lord, however, looks at what we can’t see. He looks at us and sees right through the physical and straight to our hearts. The heart is an important theme that is woven through the Bible. In fact, it would make an interesting word study because it is mentioned over one thousand times in the Bible. Of course, we aren’t talking about the blood pumping organ, but the innermost part of us, the “center for both the physical and emotional-intellectual-moral activities.” (biblestudytools.com)
In fact, if we look at the Greek word for heart, kardia, we find it means middle. I love this. The heart is the core, center, and middle of all our actions. The scary part of this is that God sees right in there. Straight to the heart! No matter how many masks we try to cover the pain, anger or sin with, God sees it all. No matter how much we dress it up, God sees the dirty mess. No matter how much foundation we apply or concealer we use to cover the blemishes of the heart, God sees the truth. And on the flip side of that, no matter how dirty or poor an individual may seem, God sees past that too. He sees the love, joy, and humility. No matter how low or lost, no matter how many tattoos, God see past that and sees the love and light we shine if we have Jesus.
It goes both ways! This week, I pray that we all start practicing God’s technique of looking past the outward appearances of others and stop to consider the heart of the individual. Their journey, their life, their pain, their joys, their struggles, and celebrations. I pray God will open the eyes of our hearts to look into the hearts of others. May we see their pain behind the smile, their kindness behind the messy exterior and their desire to be known and heard for who they are in Christ.
Blog Art is provided by my friend and sister in Christ Polly Jo Green. She is an artist based in Cary, North Carolina. Visit her website at pollyjogreen.com.Her art ranges from doodle creations to mixed media pieces. In addition to commissioned original art, her art is available on notecards.