Judge Not by the Outward Appearance
(1 Sam 16:7 KJV) But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look
not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature;
because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as
man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance,
but the LORD looketh on the heart.
The background for this verse is that God had
rejected Saul from being king because he forsook the
commandments of the Lord. God instructed Samuel the
prophet to go anoint a new king among the sons of Jesse.
When Samuel saw Jesse's son Eliab, he thought that
for sure this would be the one God would choose to
anoint but he was wrong. God told him to not look at his
height or his countenance.
We can really be fooled if we judge by outward
appearance or even facial expressions and even some
actions. First of all I will start by stating that once
a person repents (turns from) of sin and accepts the
Lord Jesus in his life, he becomes a "born again"
person. Old things pass away and all things become new.
He or she is a new creature in Christ Jesus. They will
change. Sometimes the change is gradual as they grow in
Christ and sometimes the change is instant. You can see
a difference, as the fruit in their lives become an
evidence of what they have in their hearts. This may
cause a change in their outward appearance and the way
they conduct themselves. In fact it should change their
Having said that I would like to get to the point of
my message, we still can be fooled if we look on the
outward appearance. We can make assumptions about a
person, we can actually judge a person and get it wrong.
Itís not wrong to make righteous judgments or make
decisions based on the word of God. For instance if we
see a fellow believer cheating on their spouse, we can
judge righteously that the person is committing sin
because of the word of God. However, if we see a fellow
believer with a mean scowl on their face, we might judge
them to be angry or mad at us personally. We could get
it wrong and be guilty of judging. Maybe they have a
headache. Maybe they just got their property tax bill in
I know a person years ago who always had a mean look
on their face. I was intimidated by that person and
judged them to be unfriendly, mad and not a nice person.
I found out years later that the person was actually a
Christian, kind-hearted and had compassion on elderly
people. That person is a hard worker for the Lord. If
you look at their face, you will still see the same look
but knowing the person made me see that my former
opinion of them was way off. On the other hand Iíve also
know people who smile and are nice to your face by talk
bad about you when you are not around to hear.
I know a man who sits in church week after week and
never moves a muscle. He never sings, raises his hands
in praise or shows any response to the message being
preached. I have heard it said of him that he isn't very
spiritual. However this man does all the work around the
church that needs done, keeps the lawn mowed, and fixes
anything that breaks down. He also has a handicapped
wife whom he takes everywhere and cares for her every
need. NOT SPIRITUAL?????
I had this happen to me once. I was in a series of
revival meetings one time and I liked to take notes on
the preaching. I would be writing notes while the
preacher was preaching. Something the preacher said to
me during the prayer part of the service let me know
that he assumed I was a person who was confused and
doubted God. Well, nothing could have been further from
the truth. When he saw me from the pulpit it might have
looked like I was not paying any attention and looking
down. He could not have seen from where he stood that I
had a pen and paper in my hands writing. Far from being
confused and doubting, I was writing scriptures and
listening to every word he preached. Oh how we get in
trouble by assumptions. He was not judging by the spirit
of God but by appearances. Iím sure all of us may have
doubted and been confused at times but this is one time
when I was just the opposite of that. Therefore I knew
they guy was wrong in his assumptions about me.
The bible says that we shall know them by their
fruits, not by how loud they shout, whether they bow
their heads or stand up and raise their hands. Don't get
me wrong; I believe in singing and shouting praises to
the Lord; but we cannot use that to measure a person's
spirituality. I also know someone who never missed
church and who was always up front with hands lifted up
in praise. When it came to Saturday night, this same
lady was out at the bars dancing with other men while
her husband sat at home. Had we judged by appearances we
would assume the man with no emotion was less spiritual
than the lady with plenty of emotion being unfaithful to
Judge not by appearances but judge a righteous
I came from a religious background where the ladies
usually didn't wear make-up, jewelry or shorts even in
the summer. When I was a child I assumed any woman with
lipstick was not a Christian; in other words, a sinner.
Thatís what we use to call non-born-again Christians.
When I started meeting lovely Christian people who
wear a little make-up, it blew my mind. However, if one
feels more comfortable not using cosmetics, they
shouldn't go out a buy them just because they see other
Christian women wearing it. Make up your own mind as the
Lord leads you in your Christian walk. We are to be an
example, not copying anyone else but copying after the
Lord and living by His word.
My point is that we can't assume someone is not
spiritual or not saved by they way they look.
(John 7:24 KJV) Judge not according to the
appearance, but judge righteous judgment.
The Pharisees were finding fault with Jesus for
healing a man on the Sabbath day. They accused Him of
breaking the commandment concerning the Sabbath Day.
Jesus told them not to judge by appearances but make a
righteous judgment. It was not wrong to help a poor sick
man on the Sabbath day or any other day. They did not
recognize that Jesus was God, and Lord of the Sabbath
day. It was not wrong to do well and help those in
trouble on the Sabbath day. If we had one of our
children fall into a well on the Sabbath, would we not
get them out?
It appeared to them that Jesus was breaking the law.
It appeared that he did not fear the commandments of
God. However, He was doing a good work and helping
someone in trouble, which is the real work of God:
Saving the lost and healing the sick are the works of
Just because someone does not act like or look like
we think they ought to be, does not mean that they are
out of the will of God. Letís be quick to judge
ourselves and search our own motives and less about
assuming the worst in others. Be an example, not a
1 John 3:18
My little children, let us not love in word, neither
in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
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