We often refer to the roles we play as hats we wear, but today I am literally writing about hats, specifically two hats I auctioned off on eBay recently. They were very similar in color and age, and both had been stored in the same hat box for the last sixty plus years. The only difference in them was that one hat was in mint condition while the other had some spots on the top of it.
It’s always a challenge to know how to price items when I list them on eBay. If the price starts off too high, there may not be any bidders. If it starts off too low, there may be only one bidder and that will be the selling price. After much debate, I decided the unblemished hat was worth twice as much as the one with spots, and priced them accordingly. I was pleasantly surprised to see there was a great interest in vintage hats. What was even more surprising was that the spots didn’t seem to matter at all! When the auctions were finished, both hats sold for exactly the same price; ten times the value than I had estimated for what I had determined to be the inferior hat! (I wish all auctions would go this well. I've sold more items for 99 cents than I'd care to count!)
I thought the appearance of the hat affected the value, but in this case I was wrong. I’ve been wrong about people, too. How often do we make judgments based on appearance when in reality we don’t know anything about the person in question? God knows we have a tendency to do this, and in Scripture He reminds us that this is not how He works. “The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” ~ 1 Samuel 16:7
Perhaps it is because I sometimes judge by appearances that I can also become too concerned with my own appearance. How many photos have I cringed at because my eyes were closed or I was having a bad hair day or that outfit made me look fat, etc? God speaks against looking at ourselves this way as well. We’re told, “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight.” ~ 1 Peter 3:3-4
I think it all comes down to who I am trying to please, God or man? God is very clear that He is concerned with the condition of my heart, my inner self, and not the external. We all have twenty-four hours in a day and must make choices as to how we will use that time. How much time is spent on make-up and hairdo’s, shopping for just the right clothing and accessories and having the “perfect” house? How much would my life and the lives around me change if I invested that much time in God, in prayer and studying His word? Let's trust God and see!
Father, thank you for the changes you are making in my priorities. May I become more and more like you inwardly and become less and less focused on outward appearances, both those of myself and others. Help me to see others the way You see them. All my love, Lisa