In the world we live in there’s so much proclivity for physical beauty. In an average girl’s eyes, a cute guy is one who is tall, and bears a six pack. In an average guy’s eyes on the other hand, a beautiful woman is one who has voluptuous boobs, an endowed bum and basically has an hour glass shape. That is how we measure beauty. But does God judge the same way?
In 1 Samuel 16: 1-13, The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you continue grieving over Saul? I have rejected him as king of Israel. But now get some olive oil and go to Bethlehem, to a man named Jesse, because I have chosen one of His sons to be king.”
“How can I do that?” Samuel asked. “If Saul hears about it he will kill me!”
The Lord answered, “Take a calf with you and say that you are there to offer a sacrifice to the Lord. Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will tell you what to do. You will anoint as king, the man I tell you to.”
Samuel did what the Lord told him to do and went to Bethlehem, where the city leaders came trembling to meet him and asked, “Is this a peaceful visit, seer?”
“Yes,” he answered. “I have come to offer a sacrifice to the Lord. Purify yourselves and come with me.” He also told Jesse and his sons to purify themselves and he invited them to the sacrifice. When they arrived, Samuel saw Jesse’s son Eliab and said to himself, “This man standing here in the Lord’s presence is surely the one He has chosen.”
But the Lord said to him, “Pay no attention to how tall and handsome he is. I have rejected him, because I do not judge as man judges. Man looks at the outward appearance, but I look at the heart.”
Then Jesse called his son Abinadab and brought him to Samuel. But Samuel said, “No, the Lord hasn’t chosen him either.” Jesse then brought Shammah. “No, the Lord hasn’t chosen him either,” Samuel said. In this way Jesse brought seven of his sons to Samuel. And Samuel said to him, “No, the Lord hasn’t chosen any of these.” Then he asked him, “Do you have any more sons?”
Jesse answered, “There is still the youngest, but he is out taking care of the sheep.”
“Tell him to come,” Samuel said. “We won’t offer the sacrifice until he comes.” So Jesse sent for him. He was a handsome, healthy young man, and his eyes sparkled. The lord said to Samuel, “This is the one-anoint him!” Samuel took the olive oil and anointed David in front of his brothers. Immediately the Spirit of the Lord took control of David and was with him from that day on. Then Samuel returned to Ramah.
Naturally, if it was just some random human being looking to choose a king, they would have picked Eliab; he was tall and handsome. Even Samuel thought he would be anointed as king. And after God rejected him, one would expect one of his other brothers- except David- would be chosen. But God surprised them all when He picked David, who was the youngest and smallest of Jesse’s sons. No one saw it coming.
God made it evidently clear; He, unlike human beings, doesn’t look at the outward appearance; He looks at the heart. Sometimes when one is feeling so downcast, they feel God wouldn’t look their way either because they have committed something they feel guilty about or because they suffer from a certain disease.
The readings above make one thing irrefutably certain; He doesn’t see the blemishes; He doesn’t see the crime committed; He only looks at the heart. If one feels God wouldn’t consider them for a favour, they shouldn’t look at their physical appearance, but their heart. Therefore, in my opinion, we should not judge people by their appearances but by their hearts, just as God, whom we serve does.
‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’; that is an adage I heard when I was very small. It doesn’t apply to books only. If one decided to judge a book’s contents based on its cover, there are numerous books that would be gathering dust on bookshelves, unread. I speak from experience; if the books I’ve read are anything to go by, some of the books with the most unattractive covers turn out to be the most interesting.
That said, next time don’t disregard someone just because they don’t match your expectations. They could surprise you-in a good way of course. Give people a chance; let them show you who they are. If you end up dismissing them, let it not be because you assumed them, but because you have interacted with them and don’t like them. Whatever the case, don’t judge; don’t discriminate.