You brood of snakes! How could evil men like you speak what is good and right? For whatever is in your heart determines what you say. Matthew 12:34 NLT
Their appearance and actions gave them away—or so I thought.
I knew the saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” but I found myself doing it anyway. My wife and I, along with another couple, had had our camping trip interrupted by a strong line of thunderstorms that dumped inches of rain on our campsite. We decided to take a trip to a nearby town and eat lunch at a little pizza joint we had tried before.
As we waited on our pizza, six burly-looking young men walked to the back table, a few tables behind us. I thought This should be an interesting lunch. By their dress, I judged them as some type of workers who made their living outside. Although early in the day, their clothes were filthy, as were their boots. Before they sat, they all slipped out the back door for a smoke. Not your church-going type of guys, I mused.
After a few moments, they came back in and slid into their booth. When their salads arrived, they began eating. But wait. I heard a blessing. And then to top it off, after they finished their salads and before their pizza arrived, one guy slipped out a Bible and began a Bible study. The others listened intently and joined in the discussion.
When the waitress arrived with their pizza, she said, “You guys just made my day.” I had misjudged them because of their appearance and initial actions. But they were not what they appeared to be at all. They loved God and desired to serve Him.
Jesus reminded the religious leaders—who, on the other hand, had all the appearances of being religious people—that heart matters come out. Their hypocrisy showed, but among these six rough-looking guys, love for God showed.
Appearances are important … sometime. But they have nothing to do with whether or not God accepts us. He judges the heart. Our actions should demonstrate love for Him, dependence upon Him, and obedience to Him, but sometimes others can misunderstand our actions or take our words out of context. God knows the real reason behind our actions and words. And God’s judgment is the only one that counts.
Don’t judge others unjustly. Remember, God is the only one who can see the heart of the matter.
Prayer: Father, may our hearts be pure before You so others might see You through us.
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