When I was a little kid in the 50’s, television just came to our town, there were two stations, Channel 11 and Channel 13. Channel 11’s slogan was, “Hey Bud, Whatcha’ Lookin’ At? Channel 11, Good Lookin’!” In those days just having a program on at all was a fascinating prospect. At first the TV didn’t even come on til about 5:00 PM, and stayed on only til after the 10:00 news. How much things have changed. It was a much simpler time, not nearly so complicated. They had a show called “Father Knows Best” which was a family style sit-com; and in those days a lot of people thought father really did know best. We’ve all had to make a lot of adjustments since then, just to try to keep up.
Back then, there were people who believed the quote, “You can’t judge a book by lookin’ at the cover.” There was even a song by that name. Since then there has been a progression from people believing that, to believing that the surface appearance is all that matters. But even in the days of David, about 1,000 B.C. even Samuel, was looking at the outward appearances, but God was looking at peoples’ hearts.
There are two sides to this story. On the one hand, God has been, and still is, looking at our hearts, so it would be wise for us to stay clean and clear and all ‘fessed up, in our relationship with God. That way we can continually stay in His Good Grace, with no hindrance or blockage from our sins getting in the way.
The other side of this story is that we should follow God’s lead and be aware of the way we look at ourselves and at others. By looking at the hearts, we can see what is really going on. Some would say, “Oh, we’re not God, we can’t look at peoples’ hearts.” But that’s not exactly what the Bible says.
Actually we can discern what is going on in peoples’ hearts. If we surrender our whole selves to God, and trust Him to take care of us, He sends his Holy Spirit to live in our hearts. From His home in our hearts, the Holy Spirit cares for us, comforts us, teaches us, leads us and guides us into all truth. That way we can know how to properly pray for others and for ourselves. We become so in tune (so one) with God that we quit looking at the outward appearances and we start to see and discern what’s going on in peoples’ hearts.