Measuring the Heart
"But the Lord said to Samuel, 'Do not look at his appearance or his stature, because I have rejected him. Man does not see what the Lord sees, for man sees what is visible, but the Lord sees the heart.'"
-1 Samuel 16:7
Another signing day has passed in college football. The rankings are out and once again colleges like USC, Oklahoma, Florida State and Michigan have locked down the "best" high school athletes in the country. "Blue chippers," high school All-Americans and All-Stars have made their decisions, and now coaches and fans will begin to celebrate their recruiting "victories."
These players are physical specimens in every way. Offensive linemen come in weighing over 300 pounds, wide receivers and defensive backs run the 40m in under 4.4 seconds, and quarterbacks are 6'5" and can throw the football 80 yards on the fly. But even with all these gifts and abilities, there is no guarantee of success. No system exists that can successfully measure the athlete's "heart." Teams must have true heart in order to be successful, but it is difficult to find.
God values your heart more than your outward appearance. Saul, having lost favor with God, was rejected as King. Samuel was sent to Bethlehem to the home of Jesse, the father of eight sons. Samuel's job was to anoint one of Jesse's sons as the next King. Jesse lined up, in birth order, seven of his sons to pass in front of Samuel. He thought surely that Eliab, his firstborn, would be chosen. While Eliab's appearance was impressive, he was not God's choice. The youngest, David, was tending sheep at the time. He was so far from the action that his father wasn't even pushing him for the job. But it was David who was anointed. God knew David's heart and knew that he would do anything that God asked.
Over the next four years, many of today's five-star athletes will fade. Recruits with less glamour and more heart will surface, becoming the better players. They will be willing to do whatever it takes to get better both individually and as a team. God is in the recruiting business also. Today, if you were to stand before Him like Jesse's sons, would He choose you?
1. Why is true "heart" so difficult to measure?
2. Name some players you have known who have had lesser physical skills, but great heart.
3. How do you think God feels about a person who has captured His heart?
1 Samuel 16:1-13
Lord, thank You for being more concerned with my heart than with the outward appearance of my life or career. Help me to crown Jesus as King in all I do and say, for His sake, amen.