All that glitters isn’t gold. Why is it, that as a society, we are so easily impressed by the shiny things of life? We truly live in a material world. We are so impressed by materialism, or a desire for wealth and material possessions with little interest in ethical or spiritual matters. Sadly, this train of thought very often spills over into our relationships with others. “The idiom, don’t judge a book by its cover, is a well known metaphorical phrase which means you shouldn’t prejudge the worth or value of something or someone, by the outward appearance alone.” Are first impressions truly lasting impressions? Are first impressions always the correct impressions? Does our past determine our destiny? What about social status, wealth, impeccable dress, or good looks? Have you ever been on the receiving end of being judged wrongly, because of appearances only? The irony of this is, many who are quick to judge others, have “live bodies”, not skeletons, in their closets. Let’s look into the Scriptures.
Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “sit on the floor by my feet,” have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? (James 2:2-4) 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 man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” (I Samuel 16:6-7)
God is not a respecter of persons, and He forbids us to be. God does not show partiality or favoritism to anyone with respect to their appearance, their past, their social status or wealth. Regardless of our outward appearances, our worldly possessions, or our gifts and talents, we were all born sinners, and in need of a Savior! Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost. Not that which was rich, or that which was poor. All unrighteousness is sin. All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. We all stand guilty before a holy God, and in need of His loving kindness, His tender mercy, His forgiveness, and His saving grace through Christ Jesus! James 2:1 says, My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don’t show favoritism. Yet, what is supposed in James 2 occurs in sanctuaries on a daily basis. Both men would be in need of the cleansing power of the blood of Jesus Christ. They would be on equal footing before God, like as we are. Let us not think more highly of ourselves than we ought to. We are to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. We are to pray one for the other. “Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.” When Saul was rejected by God as king of Israel, Samuel was given the task of anointing he who would become King. He was instructed to go to the house of Jesse. One by one, Jesse’s sons passed in front of Samuel. Looking upon the stature of the brothers Samuel thought, surely Eliab was the chosen one. However, God had other plans. The chosen son was David, the youngest son, a keeper of the sheep. He wasn’t muscular and tall. He was ruddy and handsome. From that day on the Spirit of the LORD came upon David in power. Many like David, have been chosen to be the “least likely to succeed.” However, God knows the plans He has for your life. As Jeremiah 1:5 says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” Whose report will you believe? I believe the report of the Lord, and what God has for you, it is for you! I read a quote that says, “Judging A Person Does Not Define Who They Are… It Defines Who You Are.” Remember, it’s what’s inside the book that counts, not the cover. Read the book. May the Lord bless you abundantly, today and everyday!