Wisdom in relationships.
1 Samuel 16:7
7 But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” (NIV)
God has given us wisdom for relationships, but we often miss it. Judging people according to how they seem on the outside sets us up for confusion. Anyone can model the behavior they know is necessary long enough to get what they want. The problem is that humans are fickle. We are sinful and we will turn and sin suddenly and shock those around us. When we interact with people based on their outward appearance, they may seem good, Godly, righteous, loving, gentle, and kind. And we judge them to be that way because that is how they seem. But people can so easily turn in the other direction.
This turn in behavior creates confusion in us. We were so sure of who they were. We might have even trusted that God put them in our life. And perhaps He did, but He did not remove their free will. They and everyone else have the ability and potential to turn on a dime to their dark side. When we stop discerning what God knows is in their heart, we are caught off guard.
To discern what God knows to be in the heart of a person, we must listen to their words and test the spirit behind those words. God has taught us words come from an overflow of the heart. When we discern the spirit behind the words, we will know their true motives. God will reveal their heart to us even before others see it.
Seeking God’s wisdom to know the heart of others will allow us to know where they are spiritually in order to minister to them before they go too far in the wrong direction. This discernment will help us to know when we are in too deep and need to set boundaries. The truth is that we all have bad days, but our words and the spirit behind them will reveal the direction our life is moving. People’s words and motives will reveal this before their behavior reflects it.
To do this, we must keep our eye on the Lord, not people. When people turn, we will see God’s protection early. Rather than being confused in our faith, our trust in God will increase all the more.
Prayer: Lord, help me not to put my trust in people, but to depend on you to discern the heart of others so I can help them better and not be fooled by the façade they portray. Amen.