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The LORD despises those who acquit the guilty and condemn the innocent. Prov 17:15 (NLT)

I took special notice of someone smiling the other day. It was to me a very a pleasant sight. I happen to know the person which made the smile all the more encouraging. I know more about his life than most as it has been one of deep difficulty, sorrow, and grief.  Not only is he facing the difficulty of a past event, but he also experiencing the ongoing difficulty of family members actively making his life harder on purpose, shamelessly. If you knew his story, you’d know life hasn’t been all smiles and laughter. It’s been more like frowns and sadness for him for some time now. But to see the genuine smile on his face, encouraged me. I was uplifted to see him so happy, if but for a moment.

Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you righteous; And shout for joy, all you upright in heart! Psalms 32:11 (NKJV)

There is always something behind what we see in people; something that is deeper behind the exterior.  Too often we make assumptions about others without really digging deeper to the essence of their lives.  We are many times guilty of being impressed with the outward while neglecting the inward in a person.  It’s common to keep things at such a surface and shallow level mistaking that for true love and friendship. Samuel made a similar mistake when he was dispatched by God to anoint the next king.  When faced with the oldest son of Jesse, Samuel was certain he was the one. What he saw was so impressive! But what Samuel was impressed with on the outside, God dismissed due to what He could see on the inside. Character is always more important that charisma. Integrity outlasts beauty. The truth always finishes first ahead of deception and make-believe. God, time and the truth will always rule the day.

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 Sam 16:7 (NKJV)

Making assumptions about people without gaining the true facts actually cuts both ways. Some make the mistake that behind the smile and “Bible” vocabulary is godly person, a lover of God, upright in all their ways while they are really corrupt on the inside, deceitful, and diabolical in their sinful ways. Other times the mistake is made in seeing an outward struggle, multiple failures, leading to the conclusion of that person has no love of God, no real walk with Him, when in fact the person is madly in love with God, growing in faith, while learning from their sinful missteps.   While I’ve never met a Pharisee from the days of Jesus, I’ve met countless men and women with a Pharisaical attitude; clean on the outside, but full of dead men’s bones.

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.  “Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.Matt 23:27-28 (NKJV)

Compassionate ministry requires us to invest the time and attention it takes to get to know a person and walk alongside their lives as the glory of God to be revealed.  True friendship isn’t just settling for what we see, but really getting to know the person for who they are. Only then, can you encourage the downtrodden and strongly warn the hypocrite closest to you.

Whether you see a yawn, or a frown, or a smile, don’t settle for what you see. Pray, engage, and go deeper. The Lord will bless that but shallowness and carelessness is never blessed by God.

“Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”John 7:24 (NKJV)

We Want God’s Anointing (0919) from Calvary Aurora on Vimeo.


  • Jennie Crunk says:

    Wow! So very true! I have been guilty of doing both! Also, if someone is doing that to me, I try to remember that I do not know what that person has been through to make them like that. Excellent blog!

  • Selah says:

    That’s me at times. I can be like a pharisee and then God slaps me up side my head! NOT. He is so gracious and kind. I repent and start anew with the lover of my soul.

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