As she was praying to the Lord , Eli watched her. Seeing her lips moving but hearing no sound, he thought she had been drinking. “Must you come here drunk?” he demanded. “Throw away your wine!” “Oh no, sir!” she replied. “I haven’t been drinking wine or anything stronger. But I am very discouraged, and I was pouring out my heart to the Lord . Don’t think I am a wicked woman! For I have been praying out of great anguish and sorrow.”
1 Samuel 1:12-16 NLT
It’s just too easy for me to look at someone and quickly form an opinion about them. Because of that it’s even easier to be wrong! Eli made two mistakes in this story: firstly, he assumed by what she was doing that she was drunk, then he failed to understand what she was going through. Because of that, he failed to see just how close she was moving towards God. Even if she had been drunk, Eli didn’t know that her struggle might even have been “good” reason to be drunk!
When I look at people I have to really see the truth, not just go on first impressions. I have to look beyond the outer skin, beyond the smile or black expression which might be hiding immense pain or struggle. Even if I cannot see anything then or if I see the truth, I have to keep an open mind and try to understand what he or she is going through. I need to look for an opportunity to help. Everyone everywhere needs help – I need to spend more time identifying the need.