“But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)
Man does, indeed, look on the outward appearance rather than inward convictions. This has always been true, but never more so than in these latter days, even among evangelical Christians.
There is very little emphasis in the Bible on such things, however. As far as dress and adornment are concerned, Paul said: “I will therefore that....women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works” (1 Timothy 2:8-10). The same principle surely would apply also to men.
With respect to physical conditioning and development, the following is almost the only reference in the Bible: “Bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things” (1 Timothy 4:8). The apostle Paul himself (probably the most effective and fruitful Christian of all) was a man of most unimpressive appearance (2 Corinthians 10:10). “I was with you in weakness,” he reminded them, but nevertheless it was “in demonstration of the Spirit and of power” (1 Corinthians 2:3-4).
There is nothing wrong, of course, with physical beauty or athletic prowess, unless they center attention on self rather than Christ, but it is the “inner man” of the heart where true strength and beauty should be sought. Therefore, as Jesus said: “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment” (John 7:24). The Lord looks on the heart, and so should we. HMM
Days of Praise Podcast is a podcast based on the Institute for Creation Research quarterly print devotional, Days of Praise. Start your day with devotional readings written by Dr. Henry Morris, Dr. Henry Morris III, and Dr. John Morris to strengthen and encourage you in your Christian faith.