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, the Lord, 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 He rejects Eliab. He is not the one. God has chosen David, a simple shepherd boy, to be His anointed.
Do we look on someone's outer appearance—whether in looks or clothing or size or manner—and judge who they are? Have we done as Samuel and expected God to choose a particular someone for a purpose only to discover that our choice was not God's choice? Do we believe we know what is going on in someone's life only for God to show us that we know nothing at all? We do not see the depth of a person's heart.
Man perceives with His natural senses. But God desires us to look on others with His mind and Spirit. He wants us to see past any human fault and recognize the potential God sees. Not only does God realize the potential in other people and does not want us to judge them, God sees potential in our lives, too. Some Christians judge themselves as harshly as they judge others. When they cannot see the potential in their own lives, it is hard to see it in others. When we exercise the mind of Christ, we see beyond our natural senses. We live faith without judging. We offer hope without restraint. We recognize and understand the promises of God.
God saw promise in a shepherd boy. He saw David's heart and knew his potential. God always sees His potential in us. We may fail, but He sees our promise. When we recognize God’s potential in our own lives, it is possible to see it in others. When we experience the forgiveness of Jesus, it is so much easier to forgive. If we see others through His redeeming love, their potential shines above any human fault.
We all have human faults, and we fail every day in some way. But God sees us through the gift of His Son. He always sees the new heart He has given us. Our potential is real to Him. If we allow ourselves to see with His eyes, we will recognize what He sees. We will believe that a shepherd boy can have the heart of a king.
© 2019 Lynn Lacher