Day 52: Appearance or Motive

Proverbs 21:2

We justify our actions by appearances; God examines our motives.


Men look on the outward appearance – God looks at the heart.

King Saul, the first king of Israel, a man who stood tall and commanding, had succumbed to the fear of men. He rejected God’s Word and thought he could keep up appearances – but the anointing had departed, and demons had come to torment him.

The prophet Samuel was commissioned to anoint the second King of Israel. When he arrived at the house of Jesse, he saw the good-looking elder son, Eliab, and thought to himself, “Here he is! God’s anointed!”

God responded to Samuel, “Looks aren’t everything. Don’t be impressed. I’ve eliminated him. Keep looking.”

Appearances – glossy photos and makeup deceive our culture – we cover up the blemishes – we dress up the boney skeletons – all for the sake of an image of the idealized person.

Our God doesn’t justify us on the bathroom scales, nor by “who” we’re wearing. God examines our heart. He checks motives. Our thoughts are before him – and he knows them.

We’re justified by a completely different standard than men use. As men, we should find a quiet place in the pasture – worship Him alone – and ask God for His approval.


The fear of man is a snare, trapping those who want their approval. Share on X

Read Proverbs Chapter 21

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  1. Doug on February 21, 2014 at 11:15 am

    What a great reminder. Us men have to remember that what it looks like dosent matter. What matters is Gods opinion and the eternal significance.

    • Neil Kennedy on February 21, 2014 at 9:28 pm

      Thanks Doug – yes, it is a great reminder and we should consider others with His view as well. Thanks for being a voice for authentic manhood.