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UCB Word For You

Making assumptions

19 November 2021
‘Look beneath the surface.’

We make assumptions based on appearances all the time. It’s a plot point of countless films, books and TV shows: the demanding, expensively dressed hotel guest, who everyone thinks is a hotel inspector, turns out to be a scammer looking to cheat people; the unassuming worker wearing old jeans and a T-shirt, who everyone looks down on, turns out to be the company’s owner. Outward appearances can be misleading, so Jesus encourages us to ‘look beneath the surface so you can judge correctly’ (John 7:24 NLT). James wrote: ‘How can you claim to have faith in…Christ if you favour some people over others…give special attention…to the rich…but…say to the poor…“Stand…there, or…sit on the floor”…Doesn’t this discrimination show…your judgments are guided by evil motives?…If you favour some people over others, you are committing a sin’ (James 2:1, 3-4, 9 NLT). When Samuel went to the house of Jesse to anoint Israel’s next king, he was impressed by Eliab, Jesse’s oldest son. Eliab must have looked the part of a king because Samuel was sure this was who God had in mind too. But God said, ‘Don’t look at how handsome Eliab is or how tall he is, because I have not chosen him. God does not see the same way people see. People look at the outside of a person, but the Lord looks at the heart’ (1 Samuel 16:7 NCV). The person God had actually chosen was Jesse’s youngest son, David, who they hadn’t even bothered to call in from tending sheep. So, let’s look beyond what we see, and try to get a glimpse of the person God sees.

What Now?

Think about the last new person you met. Looking back, are you aware of any judgments or assumptions you made based on their appearance? The next time you meet someone, say a quick prayer asking God to help you see them as He does.

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