I Sam. 16:7 But the LORD said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The LORD doesn’t make decisions the way you do! People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at a person’s thoughts and intentions.”
We do it don’t we? Even though we know God doesn’t want us to, we label people by how they appeal to our senses. We assume they are a certain type of person because of what we think they must be. We often determine right away whether or not we want to invite them into our world. Our problem is that we are so easily fooled. We miss out on some great people in our lives because we hold them at arm’s length and we invite some in who prove to be less than what we thought they would be. It’s impossible to determine a person’s heart by appearances. It takes time to figure out whether or not someone is trustworthy and has qualities of heart that we need in our lives. Sometimes we are fooled, but we are fooled all the time if we rely solely on our senses to determine the heart.
We must carefully examine a person’s life before we can determine their heart. We should talk to those who know him/her. We should take note of how a person handles themselves under pressure. We should note how they talk, whom they talk about, and what they talk about. In other words, we should do our homework before we invite someone into the inner circle of our lives. Lasting relationships don’t just happen. They are built on the foundation of good character and a person’s character is only revealed over time.
A word of caution is in order. Be careful before you judge a person and pronounce him/her guilty of wrongdoing. Things aren’t always as they appear to be. If you really know a person’s heart, you will not be quick to accuse them of wrongdoing. Rather, you will act graciously, forgive them for whatever has been done, and support them as they strive to live godly lives.
Ask the Lord today to help you be less quick to judge on the basis of appearances. Ask Him to give you the patience and desire to get to know people on a deeper level. Ask Him to bring into your life people who you can get to know that will make both of your lives better. Ask Him to help you be slow to condemn those whose character you know to be godly. And, ask Him to keep you from shunning others just because you may not be initially attracted to them due to their appearances.