“Man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)
“He (David) was withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to.” (1 Samuel 16:12)
“He is a comely person and the LORD is with him.” (1 Samuel 16:18)
Not only was David’s integrity displayed by attitude, it was evident in his appearance. Today, it is easy to alter our outward appearance. Everything from “cosmetic” surgery to “botox” changes what we don’t like about ourselves.
Still, it is true that our inward character will show through in our contenance. Our countenance is not the physical appearance of our features; it is the emotions and feelings that are expressed there by our heart. Expressed there frequently enough and they become a part of our appearance.
An advisor once suggested a candidate for a cabinet position to Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln refused, saying, “I don’t like the man’s face.”
“But, sir, he can’t be responsible for his face,” replied the advisor.
“Every man over forty is responsible for his face,” answered Lincoln.
Testimony and Truth
There are two elements to our appearance. Our testimony: what people think we are, and the truth: what God knows we are. The one is external, the other internal. One can be manipulated and deceptive, the other is never wrong.
In David’s case, there was no contradiction between the two. What others saw him to be was what he was. That in itself is a definition of integrity. To those around David, he was an open, honest, reliable person. One of the king’s servants described him as “cunning in playing (a skilled musician), a mighty valiant man, and a man of war, prudent in matters, a comely person, and the Lord is with him.”
In 2 Corinthians 5:11, Paul expresses the desire that his testimony would be identical with the truth. This goal was accomplished in the outward appearance of David. With David, what you saw was what you got.
Does your inner life match what you appear to be on the outside? Is who you are in harmony with who you claim to be? If it is, then your appearance will display your integrity.