by Sandy Kirby Quandt
Shang was the runt of the litter and not worth keeping. At least that’s how my dog-breeder sister judged him. Marie had little hope for the small German Shepherd puppy when he was born. Because my sister doubted she would be able to sell Shang, Marie gave us her cast-off. And am I ever glad.
I loved this puppy and he loved me back. He was perfect. Shang followed me around and protected me from anyone or anything that threatened to harm me. That included my brother, which made me especially happy.
Through Shang’s first year he proved Marie a bad judge of his potential. Shang grew to over 100 pounds, and when he stood on his hind legs and placed his paws on my shoulders, he could look me in the eye. If Shang was a runt, I didn’t want to see how big he could be if he wasn’t.
My oldest sister made the same error a lot of us do. We look at someone and judge their potential based on what they look like, the clothes they wear, the color of their skin, where they live, how much money they have …
Often, we write people off as runts without taking the time to get to know who they really are. Fortunately for us, that’s not how God judges.
God sent Samuel the prophet on a mission to the town of Bethlehem, to the home of Jesse. As Samuel listened for God to tell him which of Jesse’s sons to anoint as Israel’s future king, Samuel discovered God does not judge as men judge. God does not judge on outward appearance the way Samuel judged. God judges on what lies within a person’s heart.
When Samuel saw how handsome Jesse’s sons were, he thought surely one of them was God’s chosen. But they weren’t. No one had even bothered to call God’s chosen, David, in from the sheep fields to be included in the prophet’s selection process. That’s how little David’s father, Jesse, thought of his runt.
Because I didn’t judge as man judges, I didn’t base Shang’s worth on what he looked like when he first came into my life. Nor did I base his worth on someone else’s assessment of his potential. It would not have matter to me if Shang remained small for his bred. I would have loved him no matter what.
God doesn’t measure our worth based on what we look like. It’s what’s inside our heart that matters to him. Are we passionate for Christ? Do we desire God above all other persons or things? Are we willing to do what God asks of us? Those are the things God looks at.
Outward appearances don’t fool God. He knows what we’re really like. And he loves us no matter what.
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But God told Samuel, “Looks aren’t everything. Don’t be impressed with his looks and stature. I’ve already eliminated him. God judges persons differently than humans do. Men and women look at the face; God looks into the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7 (The Message)
I wish you well.
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