Outward Appearances - The One Year Daily Acts of Kindness Devotional

Outward Appearances

The LORD doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.

1 Samuel 16:7

If I’m honest, he’s the kind of man I might eye a little warily now that I’m an adult. But as a child, I was unfazed by the grizzled old man with longish hair and tattoos who lived next door. After all, he had a soft spot for my sisters and me. Whenever our ragtag group appeared at his doorstep in the summer months, he would disappear inside the depths of his little house and emerge with a handful of ice-cream treats for us to eat outside.

As a child, I didn’t know that he was a veteran, or that the service he performed for his country left him a little broken, a little changed. I didn’t know that he coped by abusing alcohol, that he struggled to hold a job, or that he was alone. I only knew him for the way his face brightened when he saw us knocking at his door, how he kindly gave us treats that we ate in the heat of the summer sun, until they melted and ran down the sides of our grubby hands.

He could have sent us away, could have ignored our small knocks on the door. Instead, he took the time to think of us when he walked to the grocery store, stocking up on ice-cream treats the same way you would toothpaste or toilet paper.

Now, as an adult myself, I’m reminded that our appearance may reflect us, but it does not define us. Although people judge by outward appearances, God looks at the heart. It’s true that a pretty exterior may be a mask that hides the ugliness inside. But it’s just as true that a weathered appearance can easily cover a heart that tries, a person who loves—someone who is simply waiting for another person to knock on their door.


Today’s Act of Kindness

Reach out to someone whose appearance intimidates you a little. Share a kind word or a sweet treat with them.

From the Book:

The One Year Daily Acts of Kindness Devotional cover image

The One Year Daily Acts of Kindness Devotional
By Kristin Demery, Kendra Roehl, and Julie Fisk

Read Now