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(6) When they arrived, Samuel looked at Eliab and thought, That must be the LORD’s anointed right in front.
(7) But the LORD said to Samuel, “Have no regard for his appearance or stature, because I haven’t selected him. God doesn’t look at things like humans do. Humans see only what is visible to the eyes, but the LORD sees into the heart.”

1 Samuel 16:6-7 (CEB)

Hello Readers, hope all’s well. Time for another #shorts post.

Looks can be deceiving. Not all that glitters is gold. What you see is only part of the story.

And so on and so forth. We all know this truth in the various ways people phrase it: Don’t be fooled by appearances. Not all that glitters is gold. We all know this truth … but often we need a reminder, because we forget this when something tempting appears. I had to relearn this myself a few years ago, after getting involved with a woman who was beautiful outside but wicked inside.

Hey, look, no judgment here. We all screw this up sometimes. But when we do, it’s time to re-learn this basic and important truth of life: Looks can be deceiving.

If we turn to the Bible, God teaches us the same thing. Let’s see what God’s Word has to say about this fundamental life lesson.

God Sees more

There are quite a few Bible passages telling us not to be fooled by external appearances. There are so many, I can’t hope to list them all. When something gets repeated a lot in God’s Word, it’s something important we need to take special note of. Let’s take a look at some of these passages.

One of the most well-known is in 1 Samuel 16. When Samuel was looking for God’s anointed, he saw the impressive Eliab and thought that must be the one because of his stature. But God made it clear that looks can be deceiving, and God doesn’t judge by surface appearances. God looks into the heart; He judges people by their inner character and thoughts.

(6) When they arrived, Samuel looked at Eliab and thought, That must be the LORD’s anointed right in front.
(7) But the LORD said to Samuel, “Have no regard for his appearance or stature, because I haven’t selected him. God doesn’t look at things like humans do. Humans see only what is visible to the eyes, but the LORD sees into the heart.”

1 Samuel 16:6-7 (CEB)

In this passage, God is teaching us how we should gauge people. We shouldn’t be fooled by what we see on the surface, but we must try to look into the heart as best we can. In other words, we must gauge people by their inner character, not their outer surface qualities.

And how do we do that?? By watching people’s actions. This is one of Jesus’ most famous and well-known teachings. Gauge people (know them) by their fruit; in other words, by their actions. What a person does to you and others is the best indicator of what their true motives, desires, and inner character are. Because talk is cheap and people can say anything; they do it all the time. But actions are meaningful, and what a person does shows us a lot about what’s in their heart.

(15) “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you dressed like sheep, but inside they are vicious wolves. (16) You will know them by their fruit. Do people get bunches of grapes from thorny weeds, or do they get figs from thistles? (17) In the same way, every good tree produces good fruit, and every rotten tree produces bad fruit.

Matthew 7:15-17 (CEB)

Here’s another one I found, in 1 Peter 3. It’s true that the context of this passage is directed toward women. But the instruction to make ourselves beautiful on the inside, in our hearts, is one everyone would do well to live by. This kind of beauty is very precious in God’s eyes, the Bible says. A beautiful inner character is true beauty. And nothing we can do to our external appearance can change how we are inside, in our heart. What good is it for a person to be attractive if on the inside they’re manipulative, deceitful, and wicked??

(3) Don’t try to make yourselves beautiful on the outside, with stylish hair or by wearing gold jewelry or fine clothes. (4) Instead, make yourselves beautiful on the inside, in your hearts, with the enduring quality of a gentle, peaceful spirit. This type of beauty is very precious in God’s eyes.

1 Peter 3:3-4 (CEB)

And we could keep going and going, but that would never end, so let’s stop it here.

There are many passages in the Bible revealing the same truth: Don’t be fooled by appearances.

What we see on the surface is the first thing we notice about a person, but it’s often the least meaningful detail about them. What really matters in a person is their inner character, their true motivation (heart) and who they are inside. That’s how we need to test people, and inner beauty (a good, Godly character) is the true beauty. And how can we gauge a person’s inner character?? By their actions (their fruit). We will know them by their fruit (their actions), because those tell us so much about who a person truly is.

Happens to the Best of Us

In a recent post, I wrote about the ‘lowly’ ant and how it gets a few special mentions in God’s Word. God uses precious space in the Bible to praise the humble ant for its Wisdom and work ethic. Yes that’s right, the ‘lowly’ ant that is so often completely beneath our notice, something we ignore. Though it looks like nothing to us, this insignificant little creature is loved by God.

In that post, I ended by saying we should think twice about the frightening and creepy spider. That’s right, the spider!! So many people around the world are terrified by the creepy, crawly spider. Arachnophobia is quite common. But the spider is one of the best things you can have at your house, if you’re a home or landowner. Spiders help the land they live on. Spiders are God’s natural pest control, and do an excellent job keeping pest insect populations down. In other words, don’t get stuck on how they look: Spiders are great for your house.

It’s one more example of how the ‘good guys’ don’t always look like ‘good guys,’ and the ‘bad guys’ don’t always look like ‘bad guys.’ Everyone knows this, and yet how many times do people get fooled by wicked people who look good on the outside??

How many times do people get fooled by cold-hearted scammers, thieves and so on who say all the right things and present a perfect appearance?? How many times do we have to learn and re-learn that looks can be deceiving??

Looks can be deceiving, so be discerning and look beyond the surface. Gauge people by the content of their character, not by anything you see on the surface, which is so meaningless and often deceptive. Know people by their fruit, and observe their actions.

We need to, as best we can, look at people the way God does. That means looking beyond the surface to see a person’s true, inner qualities. We don’t have the same powers for doing this like God has. That could be why so many of us fail and forget this basic lesson so often. Again, no judgement here. Getting stuck on appearances and forgetting this basic Wisdom is one of the most human mistakes there is!! Despite our best efforts, it’s bound to happen sometimes.

In other words, we all need a reminder of this most basic lesson sometimes. At that point, let’s not beat ourselves up over it or crucify ourselves. Let’s just re-learn the lesson, keep it more in mind, and keep moving forward.

That’s it for #shorts Part 27.


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Your new best friend in Christ,

99:9

<<<EXALT THE LORD OUR GOD AND WORSHIP AT HIS HOLY HILL; FOR THE LORD OUR GOD IS HOLY>>>


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