But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7 NLT
Vision problems have haunted me since I was a young lad.
At the tender age of ten, I received my first pair of glasses. Many changes in lens’ strength followed through the years—and many different styles of frames. Later in life, I added drops to stave off glaucoma and dry eye disease.
But my blurry vision didn’t prevent me from seeing some things I wish I hadn’t: pride, prejudice, greed, hate, abuse, crime, jealousy, selfishness, misplaced priorities. Nor did blurry vision keep me from viewing some things I was glad I had seen: love, kindness, sacrifice, selflessness, joy, peace, self-control.
Sometimes, I don’t see what I need to see, and God must correct my vision. Such as He did with Samuel. King Saul was done. God gave Samuel the prophet the responsibility to choose the next king from among Jesse’s sons. Quite naturally, Samuel thought he’d find the next king among the most handsome or athletically built of Jesse’s sons. God corrected him. David—the youngest, the one who tended the sheep—was God’s choice. Samuel took an outside-in approach in the selection process while God took an inside-out approach.
God hasn’t changed His method of looking at people—us included. When we acknowledge what Christ has done on Calvary’s cross—paid for our sins—receive the gift by faith, and follow Him in obedience, God forgives our sins and clothes us in the righteousness of Christ. We are saved by Christ’s righteousness, not our own.
When God looks at His children, He sees Christ’s righteousness. We are no longer dirty sinners, but saints. Our situation should not lead to pride, however, because our position has nothing to do with us but everything to do with Christ in us.
Knowing this helps us view others differently as well. Instead of seeing others as we often see them—with all their faults and failures—we can view them as God does us. Masterpieces in the making. People with unfulfilled potential. And when we see them this way, we love our neighbors as we do ourselves.
Ask God to help you see others—and yourself—as He sees them.
Prayer: Father, thank You for seeing us as we are in Christ, not as we would be without Him.
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