Never judge a book by its cover. You’ve heard that, right? I know I have and I know I’ve been guilty of it as well. When I was in grade school, we used to have to put book covers on our books for protection of the school’s property. Secretly, I think we all did it to make the contents of the book appear more palatable. Some students bought book covers, others, like myself, used paper bags. We drew all over them, doodled, scribbled, colored, we made them our own.
As humans, we have a tendency to look at others and judge them by outward appearances and behaviors. We will often overlook introducing ourselves to someone simply because how they have presented themselves makes us feel. We base quite a bit on our emotional response to others. First impressions are not always correct impressions. This happened when God sent Samuel to anoint the next king. Samuel went to Jesse as instructed and God rejected every one of Jesse’s sons presented to him, and he became puzzled as to why and asked if there was another son. “But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7 NKJV). Samuel learned from this that the heart of the person deems them worthy of what God has called them to do rather than how they appear.
Recently the Lord told me to stop judging people based on the outward and to pray for the heart of the matter. “Never judge a book by its cover, you will miss the hidden treasures within and the seeds I desire to plant. Every heart holds a jewel, and every jewel is revealed when loved. Love people as I love you and break the shell to reveal the jewel.” People desire to be loved, to be accepted, to be given more than one chance. They tend to act the most undesirable and vexing when they need to be loved the most.
When we put ourselves aside and pray to see the heart of the matter, Papa is so gracious to deliver and give us insight into the reason behind the behavior or appearance. Once He gives insight, He also gives the grace and capacity to love the person in the way to which they will respond. It is our judgement of the person that keeps us from seeing them the way Papa sees them. As parents, we always strive to see the best in our children; it is the same with Papa. He sees our potential and lovingly guides us towards it.
Let’s see the potential in people and look beyond the exterior they present to us!