Recently I had a chance to rediscover Guess Who?
No, not the Winnipeg-based Burton Cummings band, but rather the board game by Hasbro. Back in the day, I enjoyed playing endless rounds with my kids.
Guess Who? is an excellent deductive reasoning game that features pictures of faces with unique combinations of facial features, ethnicities, hair colours and accessories. Each player selects a mystery person and you take turns trying to guess your opponent’s mystery person by asking yes/no questions about their observable features. “Does your person have black hair?” “Is your person a female?” “Does your person wear glasses?” Based on the response to your questions, you are able to eliminate some of the options until you arrive at the last person.
As a parent, you could use this game, or something like it, to discuss how we should look at or consider other people.
The Bible records the selection process used by Samuel in selecting a king. David was ultimately selected, but some of his brothers [Eliab] seemed more amazing to the prophet Samuel by outward standards. Samuel’s assumption reminds us of the different way God looks at people. God challenges us in how we should view others as well.
When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord.” But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
1 Samuel 16:6-7 NIV
It’s like Samuel asks God, “is the next king super-buff, tall and named Eliab?” God says, “No.”
This idea is restated in the New Testament by Paul where he reminds Jesus followers that because Jesus died for us, we live for Him. Part of living for Jesus is not viewing other people the way everyone else does: outward appearance, popularity, status, clothing & money. Rather, we see everyone as a person important enough that Jesus died for them. Each person has great value and worth.
And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
2 Corinthians 5:15-17 NIV
In a way, the game Guess Who? focuses us on external features. This isn’t a bad thing. Obviously, we notice external features. God made us uniquely.
The thing to remember is that God views people as so much more than the total of their outward features, accessories and their appearance. And because He does, we should too.
Your family can talk about what it means to look at a person’s heart rather than merely their outward appearance. Check out the board game Guess Who? It’s a great game and reminds us of how to view other people.
You can discuss these ideas with your family:
What are some ways people judge or “rank” others by outward appearances?
Why do you think people worry about how they look or how popular they are?
If God looks at our hearts, what do you think He is looking for inside us?
If we stopped looking at other people like the world does, what would change?