I am currently [this was written two weeks ago but just published today] in the middle of helping out at Parkview Alliance Church’s Vacation Bible School – a week long kid’s program filled with Bible stories, games, music, crafts and lots of fun. The Bible memory verse for one of the days came from 1 Samuel 16:7 that says:
“…The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
Although this verse was written thousands of years ago, it is equally true today. Think of this verse in our present-day culture. Perhaps a contemporary way of translating that verse would be:
“…The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at your Facebook Timeline but God looks at your heart.”
We have always been about perception and outward appearance. It manifests differently in different cultures at different times. In some cultures, as is the case in the context of the Bible verse, it is physical appearance that can take precedence over the heart. In other cultures, socio-economic appearances can take center stage at the heart’s expense. In our culture today, where we are increasingly living our lives through social media in an online virtual world, it has predictably manifested itself here as well through Facebook status updates. No matter what culture or time, this reality has been a struggle for humanity.
We all have personal experience with this in our daily lives. We all know that the exterior we show does not always match the interior of our lives. Our smile can often mask deep pain and our dress can often mask deep hurt. God knows this and calls us to something better. God calls us to examine others and ourselves not by outward appearance (which can be deceiving) but by the heart.
This reality is true in our personal lives. How often do you believe, subtly but powerfully, that God looks at your outward appearance rather than at your heart? How often do you judge others based on outward appearances (either positively or negatively) instead of looking at their heart?
Remember: “…The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”