The Godly Character of Man
(Looking Beyond the Outward Appearance)
By Mark A. Parks
Godly character is still something that is not always emphasized by some believers. The bible tells us that man looks on the outer appearance but God looks on the heart (1 Sam 16:7). The bible also tells us that we are to have the mind of Christ. When we have the mind of Christ, we think like he thinks and view things the way he views them. Like Jesus, we must look past a personís outward appearance and circumstances, and see their heart. Unfortunately, this is where some Christians error when making judgments about others.
This is shown in how some believers choose their mates. The woman may choose a husband by his physical appearance, charm and the amount of his income. A man may choose a wife on the basis of her outward beauty and physical bodily shape. We sometimes pass judgments on those who have not attained great achievements of material things or social status in life.
We sometimes form a negative opinion of them because they are not where we think they should be in life, not taking the time to learn and understand their circumstances for it. Character does speak to a personís material gain or achievements but speaks to the heart of the person. We ought to be thankful that God does not look on us like that. The bible lets us know that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Rom 5:8). This means that God loved us so much that he looked past our sinful condition and saw what we would become beyond the cross and extended his love and grace.
When one has godly character Godís favor is upon him and he has the potential to be great for God. That is why we should never be critical of someone just because they are not in the most attractive of circumstances. In the Book of Judges, the angel of the Lord appeared before Gideon and called him a mighty man of valor. Despite the fact that Gideonís personality did not reflect that, God looked past Gideonís present self image and saw what he would help him to become.
Although Gideon was doubtful about God because of the oppression Gideon was under from the Midianites, God still used him in battle to deliver Israel from the yoke of oppression. As children of God, we too must look past oneís present low state and see the potential they possess and began to encourage them to be what God intended them to be. We must be careful to remember that just like we all donít grow at the same pace, we all donít achieve at the same pace. Everyoneís time and season is not the same. Just because one has achieved greatness before the other, that does not make them better. Itís just a matter of Godís timing for the other.