A Unique Kind of Lens

Read:  1 Samuel 16:1-13

Saul just got rejected from being king, and Samuel was commissioned by God to search for his replacement. The Lord sent specific instructions to find Jesse the Bethlehemite for, surely, the Lord’s anointed was to be found in his family. Now, here’s something that God said, which I found so interesting and somehow perplexing:

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 Sam. 16:7 ESV)

On the basis of our humanly perspective, a shepherd boy was never fit to be king. The eldest was commonly favored in the family, particularly in the Jewish tradition, so the youngest of the clan was never the top choice. However, God wore a unique kind of “lens” when looking at His creation. He did not focus on one’s status, credentials, nor anything outward. The Lord was so focused on the condition of one’s heart.  He is looking at your heart. And, David had what God was looking for.

Today’s culture has created a strong sense of competition.  People want to be better than anybody else!  Employers want the most impressive curriculum vitae.  In short, they are “hunting” for the best of the best… of the best.  Whenever we fall short of the world’s standards, our lives seem to stop and crumble.  We end up looking down on ourselves and begin having a wrong self-image.  We likewise become critical towards others, by fault-finding and falling into the “comparison trap”.  Let’s be honest.  All these can be true of us, isn’t it?

But, is performance God’s measure of one’s character? Certainly not!  For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.

Lift up your head, my friend.  Take heart, and be totally secure in God’s unconditional love.  Invest in cultivating your own heart, go to God’s Word, and pursue what He desires for you to do.

As we take a closer look at the life of David and discover how he chased God’s own heart despite his imperfections, I hope you’d prayerfully consider reflecting on the following questions:

  1. Have you ever fallen into the traps of comparison and performance?  How did you feel, and what where the results of such feelings?
  2. How’s your heart right now? Are you chasing God’s heart, or something less?
  3. God looks at our inmost being.  What are things that keep you from pursuing God fully and joyfully? Have an honest evaluation.  Then, I urge you to write them on your journal or on a piece of paper and fervently ask the Lord to live a surrendered life.

One thought on “A Unique Kind of Lens

  1. This is so timely for me. I am so thankful that this is the first link I saw the moment I opened my computer.

    I guess most of the time I fall into those traps of comparison and performance. It brings me to an endless cycle of bitterness, regret and guilt. It pulls me down to see myself as a lesser being than other men. Then again, I always take comfort in the words that “all things will work together for the good of those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose.” I hold on to this to remind me that whenever I fall into the loop of comparing myself with others and feeling bad about my self or finding fault in others, I and everyone around me are works in progress and that God never looks at how successful we’ve become in our pursuits rather on how closer I have drawn to Him.

    Thank you so much tol for sharing these thoughts. I hope you don’t mind if I share this to others as well.

    I hope we’d meet again soon! God bless you! Keep writing bro! 😀

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