Beyond the Label
Read 1 Samuel 16: 1-13 - the story of the anointing of David as king.
But the Lord said to Samuel, "Don't judge by a man's face or height, for this is not the one. I don't make decisions the way you do! Men judge by outward appearance, but I look at a man' s thoughts and intentions." 1 Samuel 16:7 (TLB)
Alice H. Murray lives in Florida. While traveling, she stopped at a roadside produce stand. After checking out the usual fare - tomatoes, melons, etc. - she turned to read the labels of the glass jars displayed on the shelves. A lice saw pickled vegetables, jellies, and F.R.O.G. jam. Frog jam? The name discouraged Alice from checking into the glass container's brown contents. Later Alice searched the internet and discovered that F.R.O.G. stands for "Figs, Raspberries, Oranges, and Ginger." Friends told Alice that F.R.O.G. jam is delicious. Alice had missed out on a treat because she didn't go beyond the superficial, the label on the jar.
Sadly, Alice has missed out on interesting conversations and sweet fellowship opportunities with others because of similar superficial judgments. She was put off by people's grooming habits, attire, or age - all of which can easily become labels - "unkempt," "unfashionable," "elderly." Jesus cares about the heart and soul of each one, regardless of the more visible exterior.
Prayer: Dear Lord, help us to view others as You do. May we not be distracted by outward appearances but instead look for value on the inside, in Jesus' name. Amen.