This week’s Pastor to Person is written by Pastor Caleb Beller.
“[1Sa 16:7 NIV] 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.”
November 8, 1895, German physics professor Wilhelm Röntgen stumbled on X-rays. He went on to earn the first ever Nobel Prize in 1901. These tests have become the standard for seeing inside the body to diagnose all kinds of things.
Here as Samuel is looking for a new King God gives us a valuable lesson on how we tend to view people. Saul the rejected king had all the physical characteristics of an imposing leader. Tall, strong, possibly good looking. As Samuel is going about his task looking for the next leader to anoint God tells him his method for choosing is flawed, “People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
Two lessons we should consider as we apply this principle in our own lives. How much stock do you put in someone’s outside appearance when evaluating others? Whether a candidate, influencer, stranger, or friend, how do you evaluate their capabilities to lead? In MLK’s famous “I have a dream speech” he talked about evaluating people not by, “the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” Our world today places such a high priority on the outside that we can forget the importance of the inside.
Lastly, how do we evaluate ourselves? Paul told Timothy that there is value in physical fitness, but Paul placed a much higher emphasis on spiritual fitness. In a world that spends millions of dollars and hours focusing on how we look to others our priority should be how we look to God. How do we do this? A great start is Psalm 139:23-24 David turns on the X-ray machine of prayer and asks the Lord to search him and lead him.
When was the last time we turned on the X-ray machine of God’s Word, or prayer? How would God evaluate our hearts in preparation for the works He has prepared for us? Let us ask these questions of ourselves and our leaders as we seek the Lord’s will for today.