1 Samuel 16:7
But the LORD said to Samuel, “Don’t be impressed by his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. God does not view things the way men do. People look on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
When Samuel was choosing the future King, he was led by God. Men tried to sway him to pick according to their own prejudice and preference, but Samuel sought God’s favor. People were shocked that David, a mere shepherd boy who played the harp was selected. He was the youngest, the least that anyone would have expected. It was, perhaps, politically incorrect.
The people qualified Samuel’s choice: “but he’s taking care of the flock . . .” – not someone God would choose, would He? David might not have been esteemed as a leader in man’s eyes, but to God, who knew his heart, David was the perfect choice. Confidence in appearance never lasts, but character endures long past looks, wealth or popularity have faded. Waiting for God’s best requires patience, trust and obedience in God, not fear of man.
It is a humbling thing putting ourselves before man, whether it be to step out in ministry, to share what God has done, or to lead in some fashion. We will be tested in those times to develop character and sometimes in our own hometown we will not be endorsed. Like David, people around us know we are imperfect. They may hold a perception of us that we cannot affect. The true moment of freedom comes when we realize that we do not have to.
None of us wants to be misunderstood, but it is a fact of life. People have their perceptions formed on the surface in the chalice of opinion, gossip, envy, or experience. Whether or not there is truth behind that perception often doesn’t matter, as the power of emotion can be stronger and people are often fed opinions by the peecee police in an attempt to control outcomes. But the humility of reserving judgment before tearing down another brother or sister is rare and needed today.
To form a viewpoint on another person without attempting to know their heart is prideful and demonic. It is also folly to trust in what someone or something appears to be, only to be let down. Discernment comes through prayer and the fruit of the Holy Spirit.
These same patterns of judgment and jealousy are in the body of Christ today. They were also present in the time of Christ. Jesus’ own disciples questioned the motives of other followers of Christ casting out demons in Jesus’ name. A competitive spirit was quickly quelled by the Master, though, who saw all working together for the glory of God.
Are we a David, being chosen for a work, or the older brother, scorning someone else who is seeking to work for the kingdom of God? In either station, may we recognize we are nothing apart from Christ. We are all unqualified to serve the King of kings. Therefore no jealousy is permitted and no pride, either, in whatever position we are in.
Blind trust in someone can bring devastation, but we have to be willing enough to be vulnerable and not allow ourselves to become embittered and believe the worst in others, either. We all need grace and need to believe we are capable of being better tomorrow than we were today – no matter what the appearance suggests.
Lord, we answer to you alone. Thank You for calling each of us for Your glory. We are so needful, yet You use us. Help us to not fear man, but to serve you faithfully. May we also not discourage another because of a weakness we see in them, either.