Read 1 Samuel 16:1-13 —1 Samuel 16:7 (NIV)

The Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height…The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

On a recent camping trip, I spent some time staring at the stars. At first a light cloud layer made it difficult to see them, but the clouds soon dissipated, leaving a clear panorama with millions of twinkling stars. Living in the city, I’m not used to seeing such a vast array. I noticed that the longer I stared, the more stars became visible. It was as if the beauty were multiplying before my eyes, revealing the stars that had been obscured by the glow of the lights from the city.

Unfortunately, sometimes I allow stereotypes or the busyness of this world to obscure the beauty of those around me. I don’t look long enough for their true worth to come into focus. In today’s reading, Samuel assumed that God would choose Eliab as his anointed. Yet eventually, Samuel was reminded that God does not look at things as humans do. We see only the surface, but God knows a person’s heart and sees their true worth. God saw in David, his anointed, qualities that those around him had been unable to see.

Rather than focusing just on the surface, I want to be the kind of person who sees the qualities of someone’s heart and the value of every person.

Prayer—Dear Lord, help us to look past stereotypes and see those around us through your eyes. Amen.

Thought for the Day—Each day, I will open my eyes to see others the way God sees them.

Victoria Kubasak (California)