The Soul Anchor [Hebrews 6:19] - September 1, 2023
The first debate of the 2024 Presidential cycle was held recently in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with Republican candidates there trying to impress the electorate. In a day where, “Image is everything,” is a common refrain, a photo of the event shows eight smiling candidates trying to make their mark. Somehow all of the consultants for the seven male candidates determined that a dark suit with a red tie was the proper thing to wear. (Nikki Haley wore a light colored dress.) In an age where virtually everyone has a camera with them at all times, it is easy to understand why our appearance gets so much attention today. I was surprised to learn that this is not a new phenomenon.
Abraham Lincoln gave partial credit for his election to his photographer, Matthew Brady. Lincoln was denigrated in his campaign as little more than a bumpkin. On February 27, 1860, President Abraham Lincoln posed for the first of several portraits by noted Civil War-era photographer Mathew Brady. Days later, the photograph was published on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar with the caption, "Hon. Abram [sic] Lincoln, of Illinois, Republican Candidate for President.” A relatively new art form, the photograph (or daguerreotype) showed an unusually beardless Lincoln just moments before he delivered an address at Cooper Union that day. The address, in which he articulated his reasons for opposing slavery in the new territories, received wild applause and garnered strong support for his candidacy among New Yorkers. Lincoln was re-introduced to Brady a year after his election. The president shook Brady’s hand and said Mr. Brady and the Cooper Institute made me president. Brady went on to photograph Lincoln several more times before Lincoln’s death in 1865. Brady also snapped photos of first lady Mary Todd Lincoln and two of Lincoln’s sons. Brady’s works also include shots of President Zachary Taylor at his inauguration in 1849, and President Millard Fillmore in 1850. Lincoln was not the first presidential candidate, or president, to be photographed—that honor went to John Quincy Adams in 1843.
While so much of our culture says that how you look is of the utmost importance that is not what the Bible teaches. When God sent the prophet Samuel to Jesse’s house to anoint a future king, these were God’s words about one handsome son in 1 Samuel 16:7
"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."
Again in Jeremiah 17:10, God describes what is truly important.
"I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve."
According to the Bible it’s not about how your Facebook home page photo looks to the internet. It’s how your heart looks to God. Are you looking good?