We take one look at someone and almost immediately size them up, don’t we?
Someone who is tall tends to get more respect.
A male with a deeper voice tends to get more respect.
A female who is attractive tends to get more respect (a.k.a. attention).
On and on we could go. We are such a superficial bunch. We often measure people (even assess their worth) by things that they often have no control over.
When Israel was looking for their first king, they got Saul. Do you remember what initially impressed them so much with him? Quite simply, he was from a wealthy family and he was tall and handsome.
1 Samuel 9:1-2 (New Living Translation)
“There was a wealthy, influential man named Kish from the tribe of Benjamin. He was the son of Abiel, son of Zeror, son of Becorath, son of Aphiah, of the tribe of Benjamin. His son Saul was the most handsome man in Israel – head and shoulders taller than anyone else in the land.”
Some may retort, “Yes, but God was the One who chose Saul to be the king.” To that, I would respond, “Yes, God gave them exactly what they wanted. They were a superficial bunch so they got exactly what they asked for.”
What was the result of getting a man based upon his wealth and appearance? Saul was an abysmal failure! Throughout the book of 1 Samuel, we realize that among other things he often failed to fully obey the Lord. He was a weak leader. He was a coward (e.g. he sent a young shepherd boy to fight a giant that he was afraid to face). He tried to kill his own son with a spear). Etc., etc., etc.
So, God’s patience finally wore out. God rejected Saul as king. So, He sent Samuel to anoint the next king. The prophet went to the house of a man named Jesse to choose the next ruler of Israel from among his sons.
Unfortunately, Samuel began looking on outward appearances again. (Superficial!) That’s when God made it clear where the true value of someone resides. God told Samuel how He assessed the value of individuals.
“When they arrived, Samuel took one look at Eliab and thought, ‘Surely this is the Lord’s anointed!’ 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.'”
So, how do you measure the worth of the people you encounter each day?
Here’s another question: “What do YOU rely upon to give YOU a sense of worth?”
Friend, let me tell you that your value in God’s eyes has nothing to do with how much or how little you have in the bank. It has nothing to do with whether you are tall or short, handsome or homely, educated or uneducated, gifted or not.
Your true value rests in what’s going on in your heart. Have you given it to Him? Have you received the gift of God’s forgiveness offered on the cross? And are you showing that you are a follower of Jesus by trusting and obeying Him (or as Jesus put it, “denying yourself, taking up your cross and following Him”)?
If so, when God looks at you, He smiles! You are a person of value, indeed. You’re a child of the King!