When my wife sends me to pick something up at the store I usually start in the fruit & vegetable area. A few weeks ago she asked me to pick up some avocado. As I surveyed the selection I saw a few that looked the shiniest and best so I put them in the cart, checked out and came home.
It was during my return trip to buy avocado’s that it dawned on me that it’s not always the look or the outsides that count. You see, I picked avocado that wasn’t prepared to be eaten yet and needed to get one that was ready.
This is true in leadership. You can have a potential leader who is winsome on the outside but rotten to the core. You can have a prospective leader who tells you all about what they can do or have done but they aren’t ready to do the job.
In the anointing of Saul as the first king of Israel (1 Samuel 8-10), the people liked what they saw on the outside. Tall, handsome, etc. It wasn’t until after the coronation that the nation began to realize that they should have paid more attention to other evaluators.
After Saul’s leadership hits crisis mode, God sends the spiritual leader of the people (Samuel) to anoint the next King. All that Samuel knows is that he would be one of the son’s of a man named Jesse so Samuel goes to Jesse’s house and lines up all his sons. Just like with the choosing of Saul, Samuel begins looking upon the outside qualities. Yet God gives us a fabulous leadership measurement when he says this in 1 Samuel 16:7 - ‘The Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but The Lord looks on the heart’. So, God wouldn’t let him choose any of these men so he asks Jesse if he had any more children, David is found and Samuel finds his nation’s next King even though he doesn’t seem to fit the criteria of the people.
In our own nation, we spend much time looking at the outward appearance or the TV Ad or the debate performance of our potential elected officials. Shiny avocado’s aren’t ready for eating. Let’s take a lesson from the Word of God and see not as man sees. That means we have to look deeper and pray harder before we make important decisions on people who will run and direct our nation.
As an aside, what a great challenge for us with each of our relationships. What if we spent our time looking deeper into one another to see the heart? I bet that would keep us from getting in petty arguments and assuming the worst. See as God sees today!