Samuel calls for Jesse and his sons to join him. As soon as his eyes fall on one of David's older brothers he thought "surely he is the one." But God was quick to teach him something vital not only for Samuel to learn, but for all of us to learn as well. God told him:
"Don't judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn't make decisions the way you do! People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at a person's thoughts and intentions." (1 Samuel 16:7)
As it turns out God's pick for the job of King of Israel was David, the youngest who was left at home to tend to the sheep. Not the most glamorous job there is.
Imagine what would have happened if Samuel had went with his own perception and chosen someone else to lead Israel instead of David, the man after God's own heart? Chance are the Israel's history would look very differently. And it could have easily happened because often when it comes to finding potential in someone else you have to look past the surface.
This is so important for all of us to recognize because let's face it, often when we choose our friends and associates, we do so for superficial reasons. Sometimes it's looks, sometimes it's money, other times its popularity or how we feel when we are with them. But more often than not when we make relationship decisions based on those qualities, whether it's for a friendship, business associate, or boyfriend or girlfriend, we end up being disappointed. Not to say that there's something wrong with the rich or popular or good looking person, but because when a relationship is built on something so superficial it's going to crash and burn.
So how should we pick our friends, business partners and signifcant others? Well it starts with looking past the surface and instead looking to peoples hearts. Seek out that person in the room who might be quieter than the rest, but you know there is something different about them. Strike up a conversation with them and find out what makes them tick. You'd be amazed at the kind of gold that is out there, maybe even in your circle of acquaintances. I know in my own life most of my deepest and best relationships are found in people that I didn't expect them to be in. God likes to surprise us and I think at the same time remind us that He knows things we don't. He looks past the surface and digs out the unexpected from people. I don't know about you, but I'd like to be doing the same.