Christian devotions in the Daily-Message

Christian devotions in the Daily-Message

Recognition or rejection?

“For He shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: He hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from Him; He was despised, and we esteemed Him not.”

Isaiah 53:2-3
 

Physical beauty is the highest rated human attribute in our culture, worldwide. And, simultaneously, the most superficial and biased of all assessment criteria and evaluations. We are inwardly automatically inclined to equate beauty with purity and truth and ugliness with lies and impurity. But, in general, this is certainly not the case. Many things in the world only have the appearance of beauty and are far removed from it, upon closer examination. That which one sees, or believes to see, is usually totally inadequate compared to that which is true and real. Beauty is certainly always in the eye of the beholder, but what matters is the love which goes beyond it. We humans favour the apparently beautiful and are thereby more often than not unjust and blind. Many doors open automatically for a beautiful person. When God became human, He didn't chose an outwardly presentable form. From this it becomes clear what is important and what is not. Isaiah prophesied that Jesus would be despised and rejected and esteemed as uninteresting. God is never concerned with the outward appearance, but with the inward character and with His living Word –the Lord appeared on earth accordingly. Apart from the salvation significance (which is the most important) it becomes clear that man is in danger of evaluating, assessing and judging contents, persons, activity, works etc. only in accordance with external appearances and double standards. Christians are not excluded from this, as is seen, for example, with Samuel who wanted to anoint Eliab as king just because he was tall, handsome and strong. Just as he imagined a king to be.

But, God intervened and said: “And it came to pass, when they were come, that he looked on Eliab, and said, Surely the Lord's anointed is before him. 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 16:6-7) The spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD rested upon Jesus (Isaiah 11:2-3). He doesn't judge according to the exterior, or by what He hears, but HE always acts in righteousness and truth – with everyone! That should be the valid measure that we all strive for. John wrote: “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgement.'' (John 7:24) Let us therefore ask ourselves whether we choose our friends, conversation partners (or spouses) only by their outward appearances, attractiveness or how they talk? It is often difficult for us to go against our natural instinct, feelings or perceptions, and view people with whom we have to do in a good and fair manner. But, maybe we should start doing it? God certainly has nothing against beauty (after all, God created EVERYTHING very good and beautiful in the beginning – (Genesis 1:31). That is however not the point, but rather the will of God and what is behind it. As well as with truth and if something is suitable and just or not. What really makes you beautiful and also changes a person externally is grace, forgiveness, love and acceptance. The most beautiful person who ever lived, was, and is, Jesus Christ – at the latest in heaven we will realize that. The author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry wrote the following inspiring thoughts: “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye. ...” in his book “The Little Prince”. And a heart transformed and purified by God, will also result in such changed perceptions.

(Translated by Linda Gates)

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Zur deutschen Originalversion: Wahrnehmung oder Ablehnung?


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