Where We Look

Suppose you are lost in a crowd, are you more likely to ask for directions from one who looks confused or composed? Some things don’t change. Looks matter. Appearance communicates so why not make the most of it? Hollywood stars know that and they use it to get rich. We rely on what we observe to assess and decide just like movie goers, scientists, doctors, cook, executives, children and adults do.

Granted that we are not to “judge a book by its cover,” but neither would ignoring appearance ensure that we make good judgement. It is actually against nature. We are given eyes to see. Fishermen look at the clouds and the color of the sky before heading out to the water. Jewelers look beyond the surface to see if a gem is genuine. Looks tell a lot, not just your age or form, but your preference, lifestyle, emotional state, personality, even your past, health, religion, and capability. So instead of discounting what we see, be better at it. Humans are definitely more complicated than clouds and gems. That thought should make us less gullible and more cautious of what we think we see and what people say about us. One needs knowledge of both the outer and inner person in order to make good assessment of anybody. How are we doing?

God has a purpose beyond what we can see. “Go to the ant, observe her ways and be wise.” Proverbs 6:6 They “are creatures with little strength, but they prepare their food in the summer.” Shrewd ants are in charge of their lives though they contend with creatures zillion times bigger. There’s 20 quadrillion of them of earth! How did that happen?

Probably the greatest problem lies with us, not others. We are still prone to misjudge ourselves and believe our harshest critics. The boom of surgical beauty, sex reassignment clinics, rapid fashion trend cycles all point to our discomfort with ourselves and dependence on how people perceive us. As a result, some would resort to suicide due to the pressure it brings.

If i need to imitate another’s look, sex, skill, lifestyle, to feel validated and fulfilled, then I have become someone’s slave in some ways. Not a good trade off and certainly not truthful. We tend to emphasize the parts we want people to notice, or thought they would. We alter the parts we do not like, hiding our insecurity. Always, God emphasizes the heart more than the appearance, character than charm, wisdom than riches, ability than recognition. The irony is that a beautiful heart is eventually reflected in the appearance anyway. And for a bonus, rest assure God sees the heart, the real us,

There are societies and people who need new pairs of glasses. Others just need more time to mature in discerning. We can educate them where to look as we educate ourselves where to look, what to emphasize, for one’s real worth and power. What’s unseen is often more crucial and long lastiing. Furthermore, at times the difference between junk and treasure is time. So, give it time and careful nurturing to every part of your body, Soon, inner qualities get discovered, understood, and expressed. Bottom line, no one is created by mistake. God creates no ambiguity or junky, insects included. Instead, like the ants, we have qualities surpassing common expectations. Knowing this, you may now stop living in “what ifs”, or in things that would soon be past and debunked. Emphasize what is eternal to be someone that fascinates the longer people get to know you.

Quick check: Is there an inner quality you have that needs emphasis today?