November 16, 2020

Discounted

 Devotion for the Week...

There have been so many thought provoking and moving social media posts and graphics since Kamala Harris became the VP-elect of the US. One, which I can't find now, had thumbnail headshots of all the former VPs, with a full body picture of Harris on the right side. Three of the former VPs were circled in different colours and the caption at the bottom said "Until the red circle, she would have been a slave girl. Until the blue circle, she couldn't vote. Until the green circle, she would have attended a segregated school." For all of those years, she would have been discounted immediately, and not only from discussions of who could be vice president.

Discount, in this sense, means "regard (a possibility, fact, or person) as being unworthy of consideration because it lacks credibility," according to Oxford Languages. It's dismissing a person without giving any thought to their abilities or intelligence, because obviously there can't be any of either because they are ____. You can fill in the blank with any number of possibilities that people use as an excuse to dismiss others, whether it's their skin colour, their gender, their age or their education.

Discounting people is nothing new. I stumbled upon an example of it in the Bible this past week. In 1 Samuel 16 we read, "Now the Lord said to Samuel, “You have mourned long enough for Saul. I have rejected him as king of Israel, so fill your flask with olive oil and go to Bethlehem. Find a man named Jesse who lives there, for I have selected one of his sons to be my king" (v. 1). Samuel did as God commanded and had Jesse bring his sons to him, but when Samuel considered each of Jesse's boys, God said he was not the one He had chosen (vv. 6-10). Can you imagine Samuel's confusion as he looks at Jesse's sons standing in front of him, all of whom God has rejected...after God told him specifically that He had chosen one of Jesse's sons?

Then Samuel turns to Jesse. I picture Samuel with his brows drawn together and his head cocked to the side, his face the very picture of "I don't understand what's going on here, but..." as he said, "Are these all the sons you have?" (v. 11).

To which Jesse replied, "There is still the youngest...But he’s out in the fields watching the sheep and goats" (v. 11). Samuel told him to send for David and when he arrived, God said, "This is the one; anoint him" (v. 12).

Was it his age that made Jesse discount David? Or was it not worth the bother to bring him home from where he was watching the sheep? We don't know, but for whatever reason, Jesse didn't even consider that David might have been the son God had chosen to be king.

Have you ever been discounted by someone? Maybe a teacher or a coach or even a parent didn't consider you worthy of some job or task. Or maybe someone you wanted to be friends with dismissed you without even getting to know you.

Of course, it's not only other people who discount us. Sometimes we discount ourselves, thinking, "I could never do that," whatever that might be. 

What we can learn from the story of David's anointing to be king is that God doesn't discount us. He knows what we are capable of, even when others don't think we're capable of anything. He knows who we can be, even when we're convinced we'll never be anything more than we are right now. When Jesse presented his first son, God told Samuel, "Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart" (v. 7). God doesn't worry about whether people think we're too young, or that a woman can't do the job or that a person of colour can't possibly be qualified. He knows that none of that outward stuff matters at all.
God sees our possibilities | DevotedQuilter.com
Background quilt is Blowing in the Wind
God sees our possibilities and counts us in for all the things we could do because of who He made us to be.

4 comments:

  1. Interesting newsletter. Great thoughts in your devotional, God ‘s view IS so different from ours. Like the Ticker Tape technique, something new to try. As for your questions about patterns, I like a pattern that gives various quilt sizes.
    Donna

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  2. I just found you. So glad I did. enjoyed your devotional today thank you.

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  3. I'm very grateful that God looks only into our hearts. Even though He sees the sinful woman I am, even when I'm trying my best to be the hands and feet of Jesus, He looks at me - all of us - with undeserved love. What a worthless wretch I'd be without Him.

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