Today, I want to talk about how we as people can take the “appearance” of a thing for granted in our lives, and how our perception of a thing can cause us to miss our greater blessings if we perceive certain things as appearing to have no true value based on its presentation. How we view something in our everyday lives, will determine how we will appreciate and recognize a blessing when it’s right in front of us so that we don’t take things we do receive in our lives for granted. The thing is, we live in a world that takes a lot of things for granted. A lot of nice things come in “nice packages”, but sometimes, the greater things that God has for us can come in plain packages. It’s all a matter of perspective and perception. How you perceive a thing will determine whether or not you’ll take certain things for granted or not.
Just recently, my Twin and I had bought a gift for our younger sibling. It was an early Christmas gift since I personally can’t wait to give it to her on the 25th (Christmas day). My twin and I had done our shopping early and way in advance, but I felt led to buy my lil’ sis a laptop. I felt that she really needed it since she will soon be heading out to go into university at some point. The thing is, when I had bought the laptop, the packaging for it came in a plain “boring looking” brown cardboard box with the HP logo to signify the brand of the laptop. She had opened up most of her other colourful looking presents that we had bought for her but I noticed that she seemed to be leaving or seemingly avoiding the brown boring box last out of all the other gifts that we had bought for her. She had not noticed that the plain-looking brown box she had been avoiding to open up had a laptop inside. I was greatly amused by my lil’ sister’s behaviour.
She was getting excited over the other presents that we had bought her as she was opening them up one-by-one because the other gifts appeared to be eye-catching, colourful and scintillating to look at. As she was unraveling her gifts, there was this one particular box that looked attractive to her which caught her eye, and this box looked like the type you’d expect a laptop to be in; however, much to my little sister’s dismay, that particular box was for a laptop cooling fan and not for an actual laptop, LOL! She kind of picked up that box looking quite disappointed immediately because she realized that it wasn’t an actual laptop that she had hoped for. My twin and I were very amused by her disappointed face because she kept ignoring the boring brown box packaging that held what she really wanted, which was a laptop.
After opening up all the colourful stuff that we had bought for her, she finally looked at the boring brown-looking box to pick up from her gift bag that she had been avoiding to touch until the very last moment. At this point, I think she was already resigned to the fact that what she had hoped for wasn’t what she was receiving…or so she thought. Both my parents, my twin sister and I watched her as she picked up the last gift out of the gift bag in anticipation for her reaction. Upon picking up that brown boring-looking box to inspect what it was, immediately, the frown that she had on her disappointed looking face turned upside down as she smiled with intense excitement as she finally realized that the boring packaged box that she had been avoiding to pick up all that time was what she had really wanted which was a LAPTOP! YAYYYYYY! lol.
The reason why I’m telling you this story is that we have to realize, as people, we can take God, people and things we have in our lives for granted. Sometimes God has something amazing that He wants to give you and it may not always appear in the most flashiest of packages that you’d expect for you to truly appreciate that thing. This not only applies to objects we receive, but this also applies to people we have in our lives. Sometimes, the people God wants to introduce into your life may not appear as much from your own perspective by way of their appearances, stature or by their credentials; but inside them, there are hidden jewels that could bless you and your destiny if you give such people a chance to relate with you. How you treat people on the basis of “appearances” alone will determine how far you’ll actually get ahead in life.
Perilous Times and Perilous Men
3 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! 6 For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, 7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 8 Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith; 9 but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was.
Flashy things don’t mean that they are things of value. This also holds true for the people you have in life. Some people may appear to be quite flashy by way of their appearances alone, but when you weigh out and assess the true nature of their characters and personalities, you’ll find that some of these people will have no substance and no value if their attitudes don’t match their so-called appearances. Appearances can be very deceptive and that is why God doesn’t evaluate people on the basis of their appearances alone; He always chooses to evaluate people on the basis of the “hearts”.
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
King David was a scrawny looking guy that God had selected to become King out of all the good-looking candidates that God could have chosen. Jesse (David’s Father), had chosen seven of his sons to pass through Samuel to see if any of them would be selected as the new King of Israel. None of David’s brothers met God’s criteria prophetically speaking, to be chosen to be the next King of Israel. Samuel was disturbed by this and knew that one of Jesse’s sons was certainly supposed to be anointed to become King of Israel but none of the seven that he had seen met God’s criteria. Samuel asked Jesse to make certain that he had seen ALL of his sons just to make sure that no one was missing; and like an afterthought, Jesse makes sweet mention that “Oh yeah….the youngest one isn’t here…he’s out in the field tending the sheep” [paraphrased] (1 Samuel 16:11). Samuel asked Jesse to see him, and upon seeing David, Samuel knew immediately that David was to be the next King of Israel that the Lord had chosen (1 Samuel 16:12-13).
In 1 Samuel 16:12, David is described as: Now he was ruddy, with bright eyes, and good-looking. Just because David wasn’t like his older brothers, didn’t mean that he wasn’t qualified to be selected as God’s leading brand.
Appearances alone are not sufficient qualifications for someone’s true value.
There was something about David’s character that moved God to choose him to become the next king of Israel. David’s family may not have seen any value in Him, but God did. The people we choose to ignore and write-off as “nobodies”, tend to be God’s leading brand with a purpose driven destiny. I remember writing a previous post regarding the very same topic entitled: Don’t Underestimate God’s No Name Brands. Check out that post if you have a chance. I’m sure it’ll enlighten you.
So going back to the Christmas present that my Twin and I had bought for my little sister… the Laptop was packaged in a boring brown-looking box, but the box had the brand’s Logo in the front of it which she finally noticed as she realized that that boring brown-looking box held something of great value to her. It was her long-awaited laptop. If she had disregarded that box simply because of its plain looking and boring appearance and had set it aside, she would have missed out on knowing that she had received something of great value. When she finally realized what it actually was, she held onto that plain-looking box tightly and stroked the box with glee as she refused to open it because she was too excited to open up the box. She no longer was disappointed and dismissive of that factory-looking box, because once she knew the true value of what it contained inside, she knew that she had to take care of it carefully.
So the moral of the story is to not take the “appearances” of something or someone else for granted.
You just don’t know what God has put inside of that person. The person sitting next to you in the bus could be the next president of your country. The boring looking cup could be the next new invention of the century. The plain looking bag could be holding the most precious item inside if you could just take the time to look inside of it. We need to learn not to take anything we see for granted. If we learn to value the small and insignificant looking things we have in our lives which also include people, we will realize soon enough that how we treat such things with value will determine how far you’ll actually go in life. Some great people remember the people that made an impact on them for the small things they did and come back to honor such people. We need to learn to be honorable with the little that we have so that when great things happen, we understand the value of the small things we ever had in our lives in order to appreciate the greater things we start to receive later on in our lives. People want great blessings to enter their lives but have failed to regard what they currently do have with respect and value. Do not underestimate what you already have now.
There is an African proverb which says:
Do not despise the days of small beginnings.
Each small beginning and each small step you take to move forward will lead you to higher ground. Every person you encounter in your life whether they’re someone who mops a floor in an office or whether they are an executive at a board meeting…treat each and every individual you encounter with respect and dignity, and consider the possibility that life could turn around for them in an unexpected way that could lead them to be chosen to be the next leader, boss, king or queen by God. You will be honored on the basis of how you have treated “The least of these”.
And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’
So for today, seek to humble yourself and repent of the times that you may have treated people or the things you may have received in your life poorly or may have taken for granted. Ask God to give you a heart like Jesus and to treat people that you encounter in your life in the way that you’d like be treated, Amen! To finish off this post I have a song by Jeremy Camp called Love So Great to minister to your spirit. I pray that this post blesses your spirit today. God Blesses You Everybody! 😀