Image is everything?

We all have a tendency to judge others by the way they look, whether we want to or not. It is partly a reaction, and partly something we do on purpose, but we do judge--whether we should or not.

I like a particular pizza place in Fairmont, and I've been to this place a few times over the last couple of months. Most of the time, I go in to pick up my pizza with the front of my hair clipped to the top of my head (it's not long enough yet for a ponytail), and one of my at-home outfits--sweats and a tee-shirt, or something similar. A few times, tonight being one of them, I've went there "cleaned up," with my hair fixed, and dressed in a nice top and jeans. I must say, I get considerably more attention when I'm cleaned up.

This happened in the Bible, too. Samuel was sad about God rejecting Saul as king, and God basically told him to cheer up and to go anoint one of Jesse's sons to be the next king. Samuel went there, and he naturally assumed it would be Eliab--the tall, strong, and good looking older son--but God said, "No." On down through the line he went, until Samuel finally had to ask Jesse if he had any other sons.

David was out tending sheep. Samuel told Jesse to send for him. Can you imagine? Coming in from tending sheep, I'm sure he wasn't the cleanest guy, nor the sweetest smelling. David is described in the Bible as ruddy and handsome, but I'm sure that's not how he looked to Samuel the first time he laid eyes on him. Why? Because God rebuked Samuel back when he was sizing up the first son he saw:

"...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).

God clearly lets us know through this passage that He cares about the condition of our heart more than whether we are fashionable or good looking. If we have a scowl on our face, or we wear inappropriate or immodest clothing, we don't look any different than the world-- so we have to use some care in how we present ourselves. The important thing is to make sure that our motivation is to please God, not people. Because image is definitely not everything when it comes to God's opinion of us.