Our Eyes Deceive Us


Do the horizontal lines look parallel? They don’t really look like they are, but they are.

We’ve all heard the saying, “don’t judge a book by its cover”, but did you know there is a verse in Scripture that mirrors that thought?

1 Samuel 16:7
 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 

“Representing a different Hebrew root word than earlier in the verse, the second occurrence of the word “appearance” means literally “eyes”. Human beings are impressed – and therefore often deceived – by what their eyes tell them, while God looks at the “heart”.1

We become impressed by what we see in others – how they are dressed and what their physical appearance is and form opinions about the person without ever even getting to know them. Women are especially guilty of this. We walk into a room and scan the room to see what everyone else is wearing, what their hair looks like and whether or not someone has gained a few pounds.

We miss out on getting to know people because we judge them based on their outward appearance. If Samuel were in charge of anointing the next king, he certainly wouldn’t have chosen David. Just think of the impact of that decision. Without David, we wouldn’t have so many of the wonderful psalms that bring us comfort and encouragement.

Who do you need to take a second look at around you? What are you missing out on because you are letting your eyes deceive you and only focus on the outward appearance? Pray God will give you His eyes to see others and not focus merely on the outward appearance, but the heart.

1 “The Expositor’s Bible Commentary with the NIV”, Zondervan, vol. 3, pg.684. 

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

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9 thoughts on “Our Eyes Deceive Us

  1. Well said.. its not the outer appearance but the inner personality that needs to be observed, tat needs to be explored..tat needs to be judged / analysed…

    • Akanksha, exactly! We need to take the time to really get to know people rather than making rash decisions based on appearances. Thanks.

  2. I like the illustration with the optical illusion. 🙂

    • Amanda, thanks! The optical illusion is a great reminder of how easily we can be deceived by what we see.

  3. Enixfame

    The outer appearance really deceives that was why Jesus never gave himself to man because. He knew what was in man.

  4. Great Illustration! You’re right. I think we all struggle with appearances, including our own.

  5. “We miss out on getting to know people because we judge them based on their outward appearance.” You’re absolutely right about this, Shelly, and I know this in a very personal way.


    • Anna, I think we have all done this and have been on the receiving end of being judged by outward appearances. May we all look deeper and see people through God’s eyes.

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