Do Not Judge a Book by Its Cover

Daily Devotional

1 Samuel 16:7 But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.

We are often quick to tell others not to judge a book by its cover, but in most cases that is not what we end  up doing when making decisions about people. We do the opposite of what we preach; that is evidenced by physical appearance, mode of dressing and intellect being the dominant consideration in our decision making process. We must get to the place where we make our decisions about people God’s way. He looks at the heart.

Even Samuel, who was a great prophet, was inclined to base his decision about people on physical appearance. In 1 Samuel 16, when God instructed him to go to the house of Jesse to anoint the next King of Israel; it was Eliab who initially caught his eye. Eliab was tall and of a good countenance; similar to Saul, who 1 Samuel 9:2 said was tall and handsome. When Samuel saw his appearance he might have thought, this man looks like a king so he must be God’s choice of king. He was judging the book by its cover.  Although he looked how an existing King at the time looked, he did not meet God’s standard. God said to Samuel “I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth”.If God had allowed Samuel to follow through; the mistake that Samuel would have made was to look on the wrong thing: the outward appearance. God taught Samuel His way when he said, “man look at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart”

Are you tired of making mistakes with your decisions about people? It is because you are looking at the wrong things. Do it God’s way by looking at the heart.

Life Application: Before making decisions about people, look at the heart of the people you are considering by carefully observing their actions over a period of time and ask God to show you their heart.

Prayer: Lord, help me to look beyond the frivolous things about people and consider their heart when making decisions about them. Give your heart towards others. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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