It's What's Inside That Counts

“But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."

1 Samuel 16:7

Things are not always as they appear to be. There is an old saying, “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.” We live in a world of veneer’s. I know as my wife and I are in the middle of a kitchen remodel project where we have had to pick out new flooring, tile and counters and wall coverings. If money was no object we’d pick the most durable, long lasting natural products on the market but unfortunately we can’s afford them so we settle for veneers. Veneers for the most part are very thin natural products laid on top of a lesser quality product making the cost more reasonable as it appears to be one thing when in reality it is not.

With regard to veneer’s and a building project you get the look you want but at a fraction of the cost. The downside is the product is not as durable and requires a lot more care in maintaining the outer appearance. One slip of a knife or drop a pot or pan and you run the risk of dinging or chipping the veneer exposing the underlayment of plywood, particle board or something else all together. It’s only then you learn that what’s on the inside will count.

Our natural senses play a major role in our choices each day. We see things that are appealing to the eye, or to the ear or to the mouth or touch and often times we don’t seek any further information. Believe it or not, most people who purchase a new car do so based upon the looks of the car more than the manufacturer’s warranty of the car. The number one choice in choosing a new vehicle is the cars color. Talk about veneers!

I had a friend tell me of a painful life lesson he learned while using the restroom. After finishing his business he reached for what he thought were those cool and refreshing baby wipes only to discover what he used was a Clorox bleach cleaning wipe. Both products are meant for cleaning, one for your personal hygiene and the other for sanitizing appliances. One provides a refreshing feeling when used while the other inflicted great pain upon physical contact, like pouring rubbing alcohol in an open wound. My friend learned very quickly, you could say as he stood to attention that though the containers containing wipes looked almost alike, its what’s on the inside that counts. Ouch!

The prophet Samuel learned the same lesson when anointing the second King of Israel, that whats on the inside is more important than what is on the outside. The mistake was made once with regard to King Saul and as Samuel came to Jesse’s house to anoint the next King of Israel he almost made the same mistake as the nation had when they chose Saul to be king. Samuel came to Eliab, Jesse’s oldest son and saw that he was tall, dark and handsome and thought, he must be the one! The Lord made clear to Samuel it wasn’t him nor was it any of the other seven sons that filed past Samuel one by one. God’s choice was the youngest son of Jesse who seemed to the black sheep of the family. Overlooked by everyone except God, David was to be anointed as the next king of Israel.

Don’t focus on veneer’s, loved one, focus on the hidden person of the heart, the part no one else sees but God Himself. Fad’s come, fad’s go, and what’s in today is out tomorrow. 1 Peter 3:3-4 serves as a great reminder for us each day in keeping the main thing the main thing, “Do not let your adornment be merely outward--arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel-- rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.”


Michael Osthimer





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