Judgy McJudgerson

Ever judged a book by its cover?  I have.  That is literally how I started picking books out for my husband for his reading app.  I would look at the list of free bestsellers and then I would judge the books by their cover.  He likes police crime thrillers, so if the cover art looked good then I would download it for him.  He commented one day that I was pretty good at it because he really enjoyed the last several books that he read.  What else do I judge by its cover…maybe people? Made an assumption just based on their outward appearance?  Oh, I’m sheepishly raising my hand, because I’m guilty of it. I can be all Mrs. Judgy McJudgerson at times simply because someone is different from me.  

God doesn’t judge by appearance.  God sees the heart.  

I’m 1 Samuel 16, Samuel was seeking the next king of Israel.  Jesse brought out his sons, and as Samuel looked each of the young men over, he was thinking that each one would be the next anointed king of Israel.  Yet, God didn’t see it that way.  In verse 7, Samuel was looking at Eliab and thought Eliab was the one to be king. “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Don’t judge by appearance or height, for I have rejected him.  The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them.  People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’” (1 Samuel 16:7 NLT).  

Samuel thought he saw a king, yet God said no, not him.  Jesse proceeded to bring five more sons.  After the sixth one passed Samuel and God said no, Jesse brought David.  By all appearances, David was just a boy, not the handsome, tall king-like man, Samuel thought he was looking for.

God’s lesson on picking the next king of Israel is a lesson we can apply to our own lives.  The words that God spoke to Samuel should be words that we say to ourselves when we are looking at the outward appearance of someone.  “‘…People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’” (1 Samuel 16:7b)  The next time you meet someone for the first time don’t start judging them, see them for who they really are.  Instead of just looking at their tattoos and piercings, get to know them. Maybe they are an artist or writer or maybe a teacher.  They might even be your future best friend, spouse, or prayer partner. God loves us all, not just the ones that we think fit the box we’ve created. Let’s put our judging down and start building each other up, loving one another as Jesus’ instructed us to.

Lord forgive me for my judgmental behavior. Forgive me for looking at people and judging based solely on their outward appearance.  Grant me eyes to see their hearts and help us to build one another up and love one another as you love. Thank you, Lord. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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