The Heart

“The Lord sees not as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
1 Samuel 16:7 (Amplified)

Make-up artists of the world, I’ll let you in on a little secret: if you ever have the privilege of having me sit in your chair, I am a sucker.  If you can sell it, I will buy it.  Anything that makes my blemishes disappear, my skin glow, and my eyes pop, I’m in.   

It’s amazing how many different products there are out there guaranteed to giving you flawless, younger looking skin.  Or perfumes that promise to “make him yours forever.”  But here’s the thing, no matter how much money we spend or how much time we spend obsessing over trying to perfect our  look, there will always be someone younger, thinner, more beautiful, and more put together.  As women, we can’t help but compare ourselves to every other woman to see how we measure up.  It’s a battle we can spend the rest of out lives trying to fight, but in my opinion, it’s one we’re never going to ever feel like we win.   

Yesterday in church we read 1 Samuel 16 when Samuel visits Jesse to try to find who the Lord has chosen to be the next king.  When he sees Jesse’s older son, a tall, dark, and handsome, strapping young lad, Samuel says, “Surely the Lord’s anointing is on you!”  (Try that for your next pick-up line!)

But the Lord quickly tells Samuel he’s not the one, and cautions “The Lord sees not as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”

Outwardly, Jesse’s oldest son Eliab had all the outer makings of what we may think of as “kingly,” but God wasn’t as concerned with the outward appearance, He can work with any canvas.   What matters to Him is the heart and the heart of his next king was in David, the youngest, most unlikely of candidates.  The shepherd boy who, in his father’s eyes, wasn’t even worth being considered.  

Each time I read this story, I’m so grateful that though I may spend my life trying to perfect my look, the One who matters most, isn’t concerned.  In His eyes, I’m already beautiful

This story also sparks me to think through my daily routines.  Each time, I’m made aware of how much much more emotional energy I exhaust thinking and working on how others see me, rather than concentrating on the thing God is most concerned with: my heart.   

There is nothing wrong with taking care of yourself, but we just can’t lose sight of taking care of our heart in the process.  When it comes to a heart makeover, of which I feel I am in desperate need of this morning, the greatest verse and prayer can be found at the end of Psalm 139:

Search me, God, and know my heart;
   test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
   and lead me in the way everlasting.