But the Lord told Samuel, “Don’t look at his appearance or how tall he is, because I have rejected him. God does not see as humans see. Humans look at outward appearances, but the Lord looks into the heart.”-1 Samuel 16:7 GW
Recently, we were attending a swim meet for my 2 sons Trey and Connor. My wife and I have a great time trying to predict who will win some of the other heats that my sons are not a part of (I always want to pick one of my sons). In evaluating my pick, a majority of the time I will use the “eye” test in making my predictions of the winner.
In one particular heat, I noticed a young man in lane 3. He was doing all the right things as far as warming up and stretching. The primary thing that I noticed was his build. He had the broad shoulders and the six pack to match. I leaned over to Abbey and said “there is your winner of this heat. Just look at him, he is bigger and stronger looking than everyone else.”
The horn sounded and they were off. My prohibitive favorite fell behind in the first 25 meters. I looked at Abbey and said that my guy will be ok. He can make up the ground once he decides to kick it into another gear. With his build, he obviously had the strength and stamina to come back. At 75 meters, I came to the realization that not only wasn’t he going to win, he was going to lose to the guy that would have been my last choice as a favorite.
After that race was over (my guy didn’t finish in the top 4 by the way), I sat back and thought of how I fallen prey to looking at the outward appearance of the person as opposed to looking within. The young man that won that race on that particular day had more heart that the one that passed the eye test. He wanted to win more than the competition. That was the one thing that was unseen to the human eye.
I know that there are a number of you reading this that have been guilty just like me when I predicted my winner for that race. We looked at the appearance of an individual (it could be you) and made a prediction on whether or not they would be able to accomplish their goals. Why do we look at ourselves on a surface level and use that as a baseline in determining our chances for success?
As the scripture above states, God looks into the heart. Humans look at the outward appearance and make their determination on the "eye" test. Our omniscient Father knows precisely the things to look for. God has predestined all of us for a purpose during our time here on earth. Unfortunately, there are those of us that will not realize that divine purpose. We have looked at ourselves in the mirror and decided because we didn't look a certain way, we are incapable of doing God's work.
My brothers, let's not short circuit our opportunity to use the unique talents that our God has endowed us with. Let us not form conclusions based on the things that we see. Resolve to look deeper and examine the things that are not present to the human eye. Items such as tenacity, resiliency, and the integrity of one's heart are just a few of the items that come to mind. Incorporating this principle will help to ensure the chances of success for you.
I would love to hear from you about a time that you may have made the same mistake by utilizing the "eye test. Please comment below.
Ken Sadler is a leader of Men's Ministry at a megachurch and has a heart and passion for helping men become the best they can be.