Outward Appearance vs. 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


The Lord corrected Samuel’s natural inclination to judge people by their outward appearance—their height, weight, and other physical features. He called Samuel to look more deeply into people’s heart, as God does.

In the world of sports, it is easier and quicker to make judgments by what we see. Everyone who walks on to the field of competition immediately sees where the largest players are. What cannot be so easily seen is the nature of a player’s heart. Qualities like courage, perseverance, love, and loyalty cannot be observed by a glance. These are qualities of the heart and require a deeper look into the player and his values.

As we prepare to compete today, we must not simply see our players as other people do. We need to see them the way the Lord does. We need to look at their hearts. When we see the heart-borne qualities of champions in our players, we’ll be ever more confident of and committed to our teams.


1. Do you judge your players and their value to the team by outward appearances only, or do you look more deeply?
2. What are the qualities you would like to find in their hearts?
3. What does God see when He looks at their hearts?
4. What does God see when He looks at your heart?


Extra Reading: Amos 3; 4; John 16:25–33


Father, please help me see beyond the outward appearances of my players and coaching staff. Help me see their hearts and to coach them more completely. Amen.