In my Bible study this morning I came across a memory verse from my early childhood, I Samuel 16:7, in which Samuel is to anoint the next king of Israel after Saul’s disappointing failure. Looking at David’s older brothers (Eliab in this case) Samuel was certain that one of them would be the one.
But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” (NASB)
Our first impressions of people, whether positive or negative, can often be deceitful. I have found this out repeatedly when meeting new people on the college campus here, since often after hastily forming an opinion of a person, I have come to know them better and appreciate them for who they really are.
Here is a short poem that I wrote not long ago that deals with this very topic:
Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain;
Loveliness blooms for a day.
Don’t ever judge any book by its cover,
Examine its pages one after another:
Know it by what it may say.
“By their fruit you will know them,” the holy book says,
Don’t look at the form, but the heart.
Befriend and discover, love and reveal,
Don’t be afraid to find out what is real.
Appearance is but a small part.