Do you judge?

This is a devotional I wrote for our church daily e-devotional:

"But the LORD said to Samuel, 'Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.'” - 1 Samuel 16:7

As a teenager I held tightly to this verse. When I felt judged by my peers or socially inadequate, I would remind myself that God doesn't judge me by my outside appearance, but God judges me based upon my heart.  And in regard to heart issues, I felt like I was doing pretty good.

Now as an adult I've begun looking at this verse differently. Instead of seeing it as a prop to my self-esteem, I view it as a standard in my interactions. Do I see other people with God's eyes or do I evaluate people based upon the standards of the world?

When I meet the teenaged girl dressed all in black do I take the time to discover she has a very compassionate heart and a polite disposition?

When I meet the large intimidating man covered with tatoos and piercings do I take the time to hear his story and to discover that he is much more devout in his faith than I am?

When I meet the successful well-loved executive do I just assume the best about him or her or do I allow time for his or her character to be revealed?

God chose David, the youngest brother, the least likely to be chosen as king, because God evaluates people and circumstances differently than we do.

Perhaps we in the contemporary church need to begin to evaluate people and circumstances differently as well.

Some questions to consider:

1. What are the differences between God's definition of success, the world's definition, and my own? Which do I use when evaluating other's?

2.  Being honest with myself, do I judge people by their wealth or lack-of? Do I expect a person of a different social class to meet the standards and rules of my own social class? Do I socialize on a regular basis with people of differing social classes and do I consider any of them my friend or even role model?

3. Do I judge others based upon their appearance?  What physical traits am I most likely to judge harshly? Why? Is that a fair assessment?

4. Is there a time when it is appropriate to judge or evaluate another person or group of people? Is there a time when it is inappropriate? What makes the difference? Who is one person whom I've judged that God may be calling me to take the time to get to know better?

Prayer:  God who sees differently, help me to be honest with myself and with You regarding my all to human vision. Humble me, forgive me, heal me, and give me restored sight, that I may no longer be blind.but rather able to see.  Amen.


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