But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. 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, ESV
Our culture is obsessed with appearances. And if we are all being honest, we spend a lot of time and money trying to “look good.” Even if we don’t want to admit it, we actually worry at times about how we appear to other people.
But while our physical bodies are important and need to be cared for, finding a balance is important. The reality is, our bodies have expiration dates. So why is it that we often neglect the part of us—our souls—that are eternal? Truthfully, God is not concerned with our appearances, our weight, our genders, our physical abilities, or the color of our skin. Our Heavenly Father is concerned with our hearts.
Can you imagine what our culture would look like if we spent as much time, effort, and energy on caring for our eternal selves as we do for our physical bodies? What if instead of focusing on appearances, we saw ourselves and others as people made in God’s image?
Here are a couple of practical ways to start:
- Ask God to help you see yourself the way He sees you. When you look in the mirror, say to yourself, “I am made in the image of God. God looks at my heart! I am fully known and fully loved.”
- Ask God to help you see others as He sees them. When you look at your students and colleagues, say to yourself, “This is a person made in God’s image. God loves this person.”
- Read and meditate on the words of Psalm 139.
Heavenly Father, You made me just the way I am. You know me better than I know myself and yet You love me beyond what I can comprehend. Help me realize the same is true for every person I see today. Help me love and to see others and myself as You do. Thank you for loving me, Amen.
Copyright Linda Livingston.
Linda is a member and teaches talented and gifted elementary students in Gilbert, Iowa.