SCRIPTURE: But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7 (NASB) Full Chapter for Context
DEVOTION: In a generation of the Instagram “selfie,” it’s hard not to compare yourself to the perfectly portrayed photos of those you follow on social media. The importance of physical appearance and the depiction of the ideal look have always been thrown in our faces whether through Hollywood or product advertisements. Furthermore, with the rise of social media, this has been even more of a focus. Not only are we trying to post the perfect picture with the perfect angle (after 20 takes) to capture the most flattering shot possible, but we are also longing for acceptance after we post it. We want the most possible likes, comments and shares so we feel good about ourselves. We want to be accepted. Who doesn’t want to be accepted?
But we are looking in the wrong places with the wrong people for acceptance. Further, we are focused on the wrong appearance. The focus on our hearts should completely trump our focus on outward appearance “for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” If God sees us by our hearts, should we not then spend our efforts refining our hearts to match what God calls us to be? We absolutely should. Why then are we chasing an outward appearance that society tells us is beautiful? Only God defines true beauty.
Stop worrying about if the world accepts you or not. Jesus does! Jesus said, “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out” (John 6:37 NASB). The only acceptance that really matters is HIS. We are His children. “He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will” (Ephesians 1:5 NASB). As an earthly father accepts and cares for his child, just think how much more our heavenly Father does.
APPLICATION: Are you chasing after the world’s acceptance? Are you too concerned over your outward appearance that you are neglecting what really matters, your heart? Remember how 1 Samuel tells us the way God sees us. Nowadays, it’s easy to get caught up in outward appearances. How are you going to protect yourself from this? There may be some people or accounts you need to stop following on social media. Ask God to protect your mind from the world’s pressures and to redirect your efforts to the conditioning of your heart.
More verses to reflect on:
Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them. -Psalm 139:16 (NASB) Full Chapter for Context
For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith… Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; -Romans 12:3, 6 (NASB) Full Chapter for Context
Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, -Ephesians 3:20 (NASB) Full Chapter for Context
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