Words from the Heart for Friday August 26th, 2016
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.”
1 Samuel 16:7 (NIV)
The Lord Looks at the Heart
Imagine having a pair of glasses that could see the inner workings of people’s souls: struggles, disappointments, insecurities, temptations. How might you respond differently? Before you act and speak, ask the Lord to give you a sense of each person’s desires so that you might respond in a godly way toward them.
There is little doubt that the capital, Ottawa represents in so many ways the heart of Canada. It has been called one of the most naturally beautiful capital cities in the world. Originally a thriving lumber town called By-town, Canada’s capital lies at the confluence of three rivers – the Ottawa, Rideau and Gatineau. About 20% of the population of the city is French speaking and English and French idioms are often mixed together. Beavertails are a local specialty. These are deep fried dough pastry that is hand stretch into the shape of a beaver tail. The Royal Canadian Mint in Ottawa produces the world’s purest gold – 99.999% pure. Visitors to the Mint can watch money being made and see on million dollars in gold up close. Unfortunately, there are no free samples.
While it has always been the case that human beings have focused on physical appearance, in our day this is particularly so. It doesn’t take long online or in the magazine rack of your local Walmart to see how true that is. Popularity depends on how good someone looks or how in shape they are. This impacts the worlds of sports, politics, entertainment, finance and on it goes. But the Lord has a far different standard for leaders. In 1 Samuel 16:7 we read “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.” It shouldn’t surprise us that even in David’s day, human beings expected their leaders to be tall, dark and handsome. When they were considering the sons of Jesse for the king of Israel to replace King Saul, David wasn’t even in their list. He was too young, too short, not good looking enough. But the Lord saw much more deeply than that. God knew David’s heart, and while far from perfect, it was a heart that was focused on the Lord. We must do the same. When it comes to voting, or hiring, or choosing friends, we must focus, as God does, on the person’s ability and character far more than their outward appearance.
These have been words from the heart.