Are you a visual person? Do you tend to judge things by how they look?
Sometimes I do that, but being a frugal crafter, I often find myself giving things a second look to search for an item’s hidden potential. For example, old books that are coming unglued or dog-eared old maps, make a wonderful supply of “design paper” for card backgrounds or embellishments. Or an empty cereal box can be turned into chipboard embellishments like fancy monograms or buttons with a little cutting, design paper and glue, mimicking their more expensive chipboard die-cut counterparts sold at the craft store.
Maybe that’s why I also enjoy certain home improvement programs like HGTV’s Property Brothers. Two brothers, one a real estate agent and the other a contractor, help people to purchase their dream homes. They start by showing their clients a move-in ready home with everything on their must-have list. This serves as a reality check for the clients because the home is usually way out of their price range.
Then they show their clients several “fixer-uppers” along with renovation plans which fit into the client’s budget. These properties which might be glossed over as unacceptable at first glance have the potential to become the show-places their future owners want. The client decided on a property and the renovations start. Ultimately, the homes end up looking as good or even better than the move-in ready house.
But, what about people? Do you judge them by how they look as well, or do you look for their hidden potential?
The prophet Samuel was told to go to the house of Jesse and anoint the future king of Israel to replace Saul. When he got there, he met and sized up each one of Jesse’s sons – all were good looking and had the appearance of great potential. But God cautioned Samuel not to pick any of them.
“But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at the way he looks on the outside or how tall he is, because I have not chosen him. For the Lord does not look at the things man looks at. A man looks at the outside of a person, but the Lord looks at the heart.”” 1 Samuel 16:7 NLV
God had his eye on David, Jesse’s youngest son who was still a gangly, awkward teenager. He wasn’t much to look at yet, compared to his brothers who were already grown up, buff-looking warriors. But David’s heart stood head and shoulders above the hearts of his brothers because of the young man’s devotion to God. His hidden potential was what made him important in God’s plan.
We need to be careful how we judge others because we can’t usually see at first glance what’s inside. Yet God knows what they have the potential to become with a little work. and he has both the time and the patience to do it! After all, take a look inside your own heart and check out what he’s doing there!
Thank you Lord for looking at our hearts and giving us a chance to become all you know we can become. Amen.