04/05/18 Outward Appearances

READING: 1 Samuel 13-16

“For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord

looks on the heart.”

1 Samuel 16:7

Perhaps the story of David in the Bible is one of those stories that we know so well that we take it for granted. From the early years of my Christian walk, I recall these truths about David and his story:

  1. David was a man after God’s own heart.
  2. David was a reminder that God looks at the heart, not the outward appearance.
  3. David was a shepherd who defeated the giant, Goliath.
  4. David sinned with Bathsheba.

My recollection is that my Sunday school teachers and pastor emphasized #1, 3, and 4 above, but I don’t recall spending much time talking about #2. In fact, I remember talking about #2 only in light of my own calling and licensing to preach. I was called to preach when I was 13 and licensed to preach when I was 16 – so I was “but a youth” at the time. My similarities to David probably ended there, but the conversation was affirming to me. I needed to know that I may have been only a teenager (and hardly the tallest or strongest of the teens in the room), but God was looking at my heart. That truth gave me confidence to press on with my calling even though I didn’t understand all that it meant.

Now many years later, I still need the reminder that God looks at the heart. I can’t do much about my height or my stature these days, and I realize the importance of my inner being over my physical size, anyway. What I sometimes too easily forget, though, is that God sees what nobody else sees. I suspect I sometimes think more about how I “appear” outwardly to people as a leader and pastor than how I truly am before God who knows me fully. Even we who never want to be different on the outside and the inside sometimes fall into that same trap – we let the way others view us matter more to us than how God views us.


  • Decide if you’re ever guilty of what I described above. If so, be honest in your confession to God.
  • Under God’s grace and with His help, work on your heart today.

PRAYER: “God, I don’t want to be consumed by how I ‘appear’ to others. Fix my heart for Your glory.”


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