It’s What’s On The Inside That Matters

“But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart’.” (I Samuel 16:7)

I have a friend with whom I agree on very little politically. She is my friend because she was willing to stand up for me ten years ago when I was fired from my job for no reason. I got my job back because of a handful of people just like her.

I don’t see her much. She contracted cancer several years ago. I remember seeing her after a round of chemo therapy. She looked like death warmed over. The last time I saw her at a meeting, she was a picture of health. I was joyous for her.

She called me several days later and I told her, “You look great!”

“Don’t be fooled by outward appearances,” she replied. “I am on my last leg and do not have much longer to live”.

I was stunned. How could someone look so great yet tell me that her cancer was winning? I learned that she had turned to alternative medicine as many cancer patients do when all else fails. It apparently worked for a while. She told me she changed her diet upon the recommendation of a nutritionist she was consulting and believe he gave her another three years for which she was grateful. But on the inside, the tumor had spread to her lungs and her pancreas and her time was short.

We often look at other people and think everything is great with them. We judge them by what we see on the outside – their smile, their great family life, their new promotion, etc. What we fail to see is what is going on in their hearts. We move on thinking they are okay. But the truth is many of them are on their way to hell. They have cold hearts and don’t believe in Jesus. Yet, we move on, never stopping to talk with them about the Christ we know – the one who changes lives and cleansed us on the inside.

God looks at us in a much deeper way. “For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)
There is a poem I found that speaks to this Scripture. It was written by Jamie Turner.

God Sees the Heart
Our God measures man by His standard divine,
For He sees underneath every outward design.
He looks past possessions and costly attire;
He studies the heart, every thought and desire.
Our God does not judge by how tall we may stand,
Or how much we possess, or the rank we command.
His gaze goes far deeper to things that endure;
He honors the man (or woman) who keeps his heart pure.
For the eyes of the Lord are searching to and fro,
We have no secrets that our God does not know.
Our Father knows our thoughts, He understands every part.
Man sees the outside, but God sees the heart.

If you really love your neighbor, stop looking at their outward appearance and think about their heart. Do they have the joy that you have? Are they heaven bound, or are they on their way to eternal condemnation? Hard questions to answer based on the outward appearance, and hard questions to ask if you’re their neighbor. The one who really cares about them!

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