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.” – 1 Samuel 16:7
Samuel had been told by the Lord to go to Bethlehem and find a man named Jesse. For one of his sons would become the king of Israel ending the reign of Saul. As Jesse’s sons came before Samuel, he first noticed Eliab and thought he was the one and so the story picks up in verse 7.
Gifts at Christmas time remind me of this story and how we can get caught up in the outward appearance and miss the gifts of the heart. We get so caught up in the excitement of unwrapping the gift that will excite us the most or the next king that we miss the blessing that the giver tried to share. We miss the chosen person to lead a nation. We miss the heart altogether.
Lord, as we move closer to the climax of the holiday season let us not get so caught up in the outward appearance of gifts from the perspective of the giver or of the recipient and allow us to see through to the heart. Let us have your eyes so that we don’t miss the blessing and we see the highest value from the inside and not get distracted by the outward appearance.