I Samuel 16 (September 9)

                                                                Beyond Appearances

             “…but the Lord looks on the heart.”           

             Appearances can be deceiving, or so they say.  An outwardly appealing apple may be rotten inside; just as an odd looking dish could very well be, the most delicious meal you have ever tasted.           

            Most of us have been bitten by the “snake of deceit.” We have fallen for silly temptations. We have been betrayed by so-called friends, and who has not suffered heartache from a romantic failure?           

            On the other hand, we have been positively surprised by people we thought were our enemies.  Behind those serious and intimidating faces, we have found a tender heart and a friend.        

            In the spiritual realm we must make an effort to always look beyond mere appearances.  A suit, tie, haircut, and a Bible in our hands, does not make us better Christians—just (maybe) better looking.          

           The quality of our faith and devotion to God, is not measured by external factorssuch as grooming and overall “godly” appearances.  Some of the most dedicated Christian men I know, would not be welcomed in some congregations because of their long hair, tattoos, dress style and earrings.     

           The fact is that God looks on the heart and we should look at the fruits of the heart, instead of criticizing (the odd), or admiring (the good) appearances.  If a brother or sister loves Jesus with all their hearts, yet do not look as “saintly” as you do, praise God for them and treat them to a make-over…if they want one.

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