Many have seen the You Tube video of Susan Boyle, a middle-aged single woman who appeared on the TV show “Britain’s Got Talent”. When she walked out onto the stage the judges practically rolled their eyes with contempt. One could almost hear their thoughts, “What on earth is this frizzy-haired, plain-faced woman in an old-fashioned dress and heels doing here? She’s way out of her league. Delusions of grandeur, here we come.”
Once she opened her mouth and began to sing their judgments were proven premature. A strong beautiful voice came from this unlikely performer, a voice and interpretation of a song that touched hearts and moved some to tears. So much for judging someone based on their appearance! The co-hosts who stood backstage looked at the camera and said to viewers while smiling, “you didn’t expect that did you?”
For some reason humans are so quick to make judgments, usually based on what we see in a split-second. Think about it, the next time you drive down the road or sit in a mall watching people, pay attention to the label-making that goes on in your mind as people walk or drive by.
I read this morning in I Samuel about the anointing of King David. King Saul had proven to be a disappointment to God so God told Samuel He was going to choose a new king. Samuel went to the house of Jesse, a man with seven sons. Six of the sons walked in front of Samuel – tall and strong, strapping young men. As each one passed Samuel thought, “Surely this is the one” and each time God said “Nope.” Finally David was brought in from shepherding in the fields and presented to Samuel. “This is my boy” said God “anoint him.” Samuel did, God sent his spirit mightily into the boy’s heart and King David became one of the most influential and famous of all the kings of Israel. He is also known as becoming “a man after God’s own heart.”
On his own, Samuel wouldn’t have chosen David after simply seeing him because he was just a boy. “He’s not king material! He’s a teenager! He’s been laying around on the grass with smelly sheep. What would he know about being king?” God told Samuel, “I look at things and people differently than you do. You see the outside. I see the heart, the motivations and intentions.”
Not only do we have to remember that outward appearances of others are unimportant to God, we need to remember that about ourselves. The part of us that others can see is not the most important to God. He’s looking at our hearts. The most inept, awkward, unsure person is a prize candidate for great things in God’s eyes if their heart is devoted to Him.
Before I roll my eyes at someone else I pray God will help me see them as someone He deeply loves. I hope He’ll keep humbling me and reminding me that He loves all people the same and is so glad to use their life for His noble, beautiful purpose if their intentions are to love and honor Him. We look at the outside, thankfully, God sees the heart!