What Are We Looking For?
There’s a great story in 1 Samuel about the search for a new king. God sends Samuel to the family of Jesse because God has told him that the next king is among his sons. The problem is that Samuel doesn’t know which one it is!
After Samuel arrives at Jesse’s home, he begins to take a look at each of the sons. When he sees Eliab, Samuel thinks, “Here he is! Gods anointed!” But God responds to him, "Looks aren't everything. Don't be impressed with his looks and stature. I've already eliminated him. God judges persons differently than humans do. Men and women look at the face; God looks into the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).
This reminds me of an encounter with the Minister of Religious Affairs in Oman. I was preparing to leave and begin my new position at West End, and I was presenting the CV for the person who would replace me. He looked at it and said, “This is fine, but tell me about his heart. Does he have a good heart?”
We don’t ask this question enough—does a person have a good heart? Actually, we should be asking ourselves the question, Do I have a good heart? We are used to gauging our lives by our jobs, where we live, where we were educated, how much money we make…. But in the end, it’s the state of our hearts that matter most. A good heart is what leads to a rich and fulfilling life—for us and others!
There is a Chinese proverb that speaks to this. It says: “If there is light in the soul, there will be beauty in the person. If there is beauty in the person, there will be harmony in the house. If there is harmony in the house, there will be order in the nation. If there is order in the nation, there will be peace in the world.”