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Scripture Reading: 1 Samuel 16:1-13

Learn to be quiet enough to hear the genuine within yourself so that you can hear it in others. ―Marian Wright Edelman




ppearances can be deceiving. This is an old, familiar adage and no doubt we agree with it. It’s another way of saying that all that glitters is not gold. Can you think of some examples that bear witness to this truth? After all, as someone has said, the world appears flat, the sun appears to orbit, matter appears solid and time appears to move forward.

 Think of a house you once considered buying. It had a beautiful lawn with sculpted bushes, and tailored walkways. Its gables and the porch were inviting, and it looked like your dream home. But, you couldn’t see what was below the floorboards and in the wiring, could you? You didn’t see the termites, water damage and dry rot until the house inspection warned you of these flaws.

 In the art world, dealers are always alert for forgeries, and yet too often, even experts are fooled. Sometimes it is hard to spot a fake.

 Even the last judge of Israel, Samuel, was fooled by outward appearances. When he was looking for a leader, he thought he’d found one among the sons of Jesse. But he was fooled. It was not the strongest or wisest that God wanted, but the weakest and the most foolish; not the man but the boy, the one writing poetry and playing a lyre. “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart’” (1 Samuel 16:7).

 What does the Lord see when he looks into your heart? Does he see anger, bitterness and jealousy? Or does he see love, joy, gentleness, meekness and self-control?

 Today, let’s try to be real. If there is love in your heart, let your hands and face show it. If there is joy inside, let it bubble to the surface. If there is sadness and grief, let others see it so they might offer comfort. If there is integrity inside, let your honesty be seen in all your dealings with others. —Timothy Merrill


Prayer: Lord Jesus, may I be real and authentic today, so that what others see on the outside is a true representation of the real me, or, actually, the real You! Amen.