In the cowboy country of the northwest, Ginny and her friend, Amy, looked over the horses at the rodeo in her small town. Both teens were decked out in tight jeans with bright western shirts. Shiny curls bounced over their shoulders.

Ginny had an agenda as she checked for the best-looking horse she could find. The blonde teen had learned local rodeos like this one were a good place to find quality horses as fine-tuned and trained as athletes.  She had already seen Man Friday compete. What a performer! 

“Any luck?” her friend, Amy, nudged her.

“Yep,” Ginny smiled as she pointed out a chestnut horse,” and I’ve seen that the cowboy who belongs to this horse is skinny with a great build, and a belt buckle as big as a dinner plate!

He’s a winner!”

Amy replied, “The horse or the cowboy?”


“You sure know how to pick them. But maybe you should get your own horse, and then you wouldn’t always have to be picking your boyfriends by the horses they ride!”

Choosing by appearances is nothing new. When prophet Samuel was to anoint David as king and Samuel thought he was too young, God said, “The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” [1 Samuel 16:7.]

Good advice, even for Ginny. What if she looked at choices the way God did? As she grew in wisdom and years, Ginny learned hands-on about picking friends and making choices by God’s standards. It paid off. Her husband and helpmate showed qualities of kindness, integrity, fidelity, dependability and faith over the next four decades.  And it didn’t even matter that he didn’t have a horse!

Daily, dozens of everyday and seasonal choices face us–whether about friends, gifts, partners, jobs, houses, horses, cars, or activities. Faced with each decision, we can determine whose standards we are using – God’s or ours.

If we are picking friends by the horses they own – on four legs or under the hood – it’s time to abandon horse sense for God’s sense!

[Jo Russell is a Christian teacher, speaker, author of many articles, contributor to several anthologies, and Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women, available from her website, For more chuckles and to hear a speech, enjoy excerpts of her book and tips, check her entire website options and weekly blog.]