1 Samuel 16:7
7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
The world is cruel. Society is ruthless. Peers are vicious. However, as believers we are called to a different standard – a higher one! Mark 12:30-31 says, “30 And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ 31 The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” [Pause]…Did we just read that correctly? Yes, yes we did! Now who feels the conviction? Me!
I have said it before and I will say again…the world does not have a policy problem, it has a sin problem. These two commandments cut to the “heart” of our problem…love and acceptance. From a sociology perspective, we tend to gather around the norm; it’s safe and comfortable. Sadly, we then begin to point fingers at what society labels as abnormal and different. The fundamental principle is that our hearts are all the same; there are ventricles, valves, atria, and aorta. It pumps blood throughout our bodies all day and night. We truly are not that different underneath skin, muscle, and bone. Yet, Satan has convinced us otherwise.
Matthew 7:1-2 says, ““Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. 2 For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.” Not only are we instructed not to judge, but Jesus clearly states not to judge based on outward appearance. Jesus is always concerned with the heart!
One of my most favorite examples from such a cruel account involves the crucification story. In Luke 23:41, the criminal states “…for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” The criminal continued when he stated, “42 Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!” 43 And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.” Ah, this is a beautiful example of a heart judgment by the righteous One; the only One who can truly judge!
Was Jesus concerned with this man’s looks? No.
Was Jesus concerned with this man’s religious correctness? No
Jesus was only assessing the heart! We ought to be ashamed of ourselves for superimposing our judgment over what Jesus clearly states is more valuable – the heart!
So, the next time you feel the need to condemn your fellow neighbor for not living up to YOUR standards, please humble yourself before the Lord and seek forgiveness. The old adage is true, “When you point one finger at someone, there are three pointing back at you.” Do not judge for you will be treated as you treat others. Friends, the only way to change your heart it to allow the Master in! Digging into your relationship with the Father is a sure way of living a life like Christ.
Question: Do you have three fingers pointing back at you? Then put your hand down! Instead, lend a helping hand to those you initially judge or condemn.