Did you catch the huge thing God said about Himself to Samuel? Let’s take a moment to stop at this, and then we’ll resume this chapter. God said to Samuel, “I don’t make decisions the way you do! Men judge by outward appearance, but I look at man’s thoughts and intentions.” This is an important thing to remember about God. He sees our hearts, with its various thoughts and motives. While He knows what our bodies look like, that is not how He views us. He regards us by what He sees in our hearts, something which can’t be seen by a mere man. We can dress up our lives with lots of good works and other things hoping to please God, but if our heart is hiding hatred and lust underneath all those good works, while we might appear to be a good person to others, in God’s eyes we are not. We are to Him what is in our hearts.

While we can’t easily see the hearts of others, we can try to stop seeing people by their outward appearance. We can learn to recognize this about ourselves and start trying to disregard age, beauty, physical attraction, fitness, skin color, racial heritage and other things we see with our eyes and start trying to view people as God might see them, reserving judgment on people until we see evidence of what might be in their hearts. Martin Luther King, Jr. said in his famous “I have a dream” speech, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” I wholeheartedly agree with his statement and hope that all of us could realize how we see people today and start trying to see people as God sees them, seeing the “hidden man of the heart”.

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