Earlier today, I came across a YouTube video where people were chosen to rate others based on their looks on a scale from 1-10. Naturally, I was fascinated by the entire scenario, so I clicked on the video as soon as I saw it. There were so many questions passing through my mind, like, “Why would anyone willingly choose to put themselves in a position to be judged so superficially?” I even thought, “Why would someone else even agree to rate a total stranger in that way?” As I watched the video, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for those people that were given ratings like 3 or 4. I watched how their faces fell when the lesser numbers were called out and I kept thinking to myself, “Why did you ever sign up for this?” In the same way, when the more “attractive” people were given numbers like 8, or 9, and even a 10, I watched as their faces glowed and they revelled in the glory of being called beautiful. The longer I sat watching the video, the more I began to think about the world’s beauty standards. It was so fascinating to me, because many of the people who were given lower ratings, in my eyes, were some of the most beautiful people there. They had beautiful smiles, unique sense of style and just seemed so kind. It was mind-boggling to see when they were given ratings that didn’t reflect what I saw when I looked at them. When I finally turned off the video, I felt a mixture of emotions. Sadness, for those that were given lower ratings. Annoyance, at the people who were ruthless when they pointed out the flaws of the other person, and contemplative, as I thought about my own appearance.
Whether you’re a female or male, I think we all wrestle with our appearances at some point, if we’re honest. After watching the video, I found myself thinking, “What would I be rated if I was brave enough to join that experiment?” “Would I be called a 3 or a 5?”, “Would I leave there feeling dejected?”, “Would I even be seen as attractive in their eyes?” Questions like this bombarded my mind, until I found myself looking in the mirror at my face. I stared and stared, trying to figure out how someone else would rate me, until I was nudged by the Holy Spirit. In the moment, I felt like I was brought back to my senses and I quickly realized that it didn’t matter at all how attractive someone else thought that I was. What matters is that I knew within myself that I am valuable and beautiful. What matters is how God saw me when He looked at me. A few hours after watching that video, I ended up reading the story of David, and how, although all of his brothers looked the part, it was David that God chose to be King. In 1 Samuel 16:7 (NIV), God assured Samuel that while Eliab (David’s brother) looked like a King, he was not. The verse says, “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.”
As soon as I read this verse I thought back on the video I watched earlier. As human beings, it is our natural inclination to focus on what’s on the outside. We love all that is beautiful and shiny and cool looking. The thing is, there is nothing wrong with that. There is nothing wrong with being attracted to something or someone that we deem beautiful. I think we go wrong when we believe that this is all that there is and we refuse to look deeper. After reading that verse, I began to talk to God about my heart. I didn’t ask myself anymore, “Do people think that I’m attractive?”. Instead, I began to ask myself and reflect, “What would God say about my heart?” “Is my heart attractive to Him?”, “Is it appealing in His eyes?”
If we’re honest, we’d admit that we all want to be seen as attractive. We all want to be considered beautiful in our own way, and there is nothing wrong with that. However, I challenge you to look deeper and to think deeper. God looks at so much more than our appearance and I think we, as His children, should do the same. Seek to not only have an attractive face, but an attractive heart. Seek to discover the hearts of people, instead of just basing your opinions about them on their physical appearance.
I truly believe that this is the heart of God for all of us.