“When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, 'Surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord.' But the Lord said to Samuel, 'Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart'” (I Samuel 16:6-7, NIV).
In this Scripture God has sent Samuel to Jesse of Bethlehem with the instruction that He has chosen one of Jesse's sons to be the new king. Samuel looks on the outer appearance of Eliab, and immediately believes him to be God's chosen. But God lets Samuel know that no matter how Eliab might appear he is not the one. God looks upon the heart. God has chosen David, a simple shepherd boy, to be His anointed.
How many times have we looked look on someone's outer appearance, whether in looks or clothing or size or manner, and judged who they are? Have we done as Samuel and expected God to choose someone for a purpose only to discover that our choice was not God's choice? Have we believed we know what is going on in someone's life only for God to show us that we know nothing at all? We really do not know the depth of that person's heart. Man perceives with what his physical eyes see—what His ears hear—what his human mind determines. But God wants us to look on others with the openness of His heart and His Spirit. He wants us to see past what we perceive as fault and recognize the potential that God knows is there.
God saw promise in a shepherd boy. He saw David's heart, and knew His great potential. Not only does God see the potential in other people and does not want us to judge them; God also sees potential in us. We recognize what God sees in us when we seek what He sees in others. It is then that God's instruction “to not judge or you will also be judged” is closer to being understood. In the same way we judge others, we shall also be judged (Matthew 7:1-2).
God always sees the potential in our hearts. He wants us to see the potential in other hearts with His eyes, and not judge whether or not that potential is being accomplished. Just because He may allow us to see His potential that does not give us a right to judge it. How we measure someone else’s spirituality will also be applied to us. So what about me? Where am I? He looks into my heart, and that is where I need to always look and allow His grace to transform my life. I can only lay down my own fault. Never judging frees me to love with His heart. God has chosen me to fulfill His potential. With my surrender to His purpose His power will be realized—only as long as I remember that I am nothing more than a shepherd boy.
(Copyright 2017 Lynn Hampton Lacher)