Appearance bias

1 Samuel 16:7
“People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” (NIV)

Today’s Thought
“Never judge a book by its cover.” It’s one of those lessons you learn when you’re young…

But we do it all the time!

You know as well as I do that appearances can be deceiving. And yet, we look at someone who owns a fancy house in a posh neighbourhood and figure they must have something figured out. But since when do wealth and wisdom go hand in hand?

Or we see an attractive person and assume they must have an engaging personality. But why?

It’s the appearance bias. And it tends to impair our judgment.

World-class orchestras know this. When they audition new musicians, they have them perform behind a screen. That way their decision is based on how good they actually are, and not on what they look like.

When the prophet Samuel set out to find the future King, he saw one of Jesse’s sons, Eliab, and thought that for sure he must be the one because of his impressive appearance.

But God spoke to Samuel and said, “The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

Today, remember that who you are is more than what you look like. God is more concerned with the integrity of your heart than he is with the quality of your wardrobe or buffness of your build. (Is buffness a word?)

Concentrate on the inside. On loyalty, on courage, on integrity.

The person Samuel eventually anointed was wee David. Eventually, he would conquer Goliath, become the King of Israel, write songs people would sing for 3000 years, and is one of the enduring heroes of history. And from his line came the World Saviour. What made him stand out?

Who he was on the inside.

What’s under your cover doesn’t stay covered. The loyalty, courage and integrity of one little heart is what God uses to change the world.

By Matthew Ruttan

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