Diana and I have a show that we like to watch, it is called The Voice. We like it because it doesn’t have the craziness of other similar shows. The people who come to the voice are very talented and passionate about their profession, and not simply people who are looking for the 15 minutes of fame. But there is another reason that I enjoy the show. It is generally the first three or four episodes and it is the blind auditions. The four coaches backs are turned to the stage, the singer comes out, and if a coach or coaches like the person’s voice, they turn around for them. The judgment is based entirely on the voice, rather than appearance. There are several times each year that a coach will say “you look nothing like the mental picture I had listening to your voice.”
We live in a very visual society. We like for the people we look up to, or in too many cases, idolize, to look a certain way. We will often say “you can’t judge a book by its cover.” However, if we are honest, many times that is precisely what we do. Unfortunately this isn’t just limited to the outside world, but even within the church too often as well. There is a story in the Old Testament that shows us that this isn’t a new phenomenon.
The people had wanted a king so they could be like other nations. And so God allowed them to choose a king. The chose a man by the name of Saul. What were his qualifications to be king? Well according to the people, he was a good guy and he was taller than most (see 1 Samuel 9). That’s not exactly an Ivy League educated, war hero, successful business person is it? Saul would reign over Israel for 40 years; however, like most of us, the power went to his head and he began to do things that didn’t honor God. Therefore, God was choosing the next king. God told the prophet Samuel to go to the house of Jesse and anoint the next king. So Samuel goes and Jesse lines up all of his sons for inspection. Samuel is making a determination based upon what else, physical appearance (1 Sam. 16:6). Yet God tells Samuel in 1 Samuel 16:7, “But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in his famous “I Have a Dream” speech said, “I have a dream that one day my children will be judged not based on the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” Dr. King in that statement certainly reflected the thoughts of God.
The truth of the matter is that first impressions often are wrong. That is because we are making assumptions based on what we see, what we hear, and what we perceive. However, after spending time with a person and getting to know them, we many times find out that we were wrong. Anyone can make a snap judgment about someone. But to truly demonstrate love to people, we must take time to get to know them. Understand the roads they have walked, the experiences they have gone through, and get to know them as a person. Before making up your mind about someone, take time to get to know them, you might be glad you did.
By His grace and through His strength may we live for Him