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“You are judging by appearances. If anyone is confident that they belong to Christ, they should consider again that we belong to Christ just as much as they do.” (2 Corinthians 10:7 NIV)

Appearances lie.  Everyone falls for the lie.

We see a picture on social media. We believe what we see.  One I’ve fallen for is the shark’s silhouette in an ocean wave about to break on the beach.  Not real.  Pictures of happy couples, families, friends aren’t usually accurate.  When you see these pictures on Facebook, remember, it’s the best photo taken, not the worst.  The image before, when the baby is crying, the wife is angry, and dad is exhausted, we don’t see that picture.  

Appearances don’t indicate the condition of the heart.  When we look at someone, we don’t know if they follow Jesus or not.  Their actions will reveal their beliefs as the relationship grows, but we cannot tell by appearance.  Once someone says yes to Christ, it’s a yes for always.  Nothing strips us from Christ’s love.

Judge actions, not appearance.

When we judge by appearance, we’re missing what lies beneath the waterline.  The message my pastor gave this week talked about looking beneath the surface.  Don’t accept what you see on the surface.  Instead, look deeper for the truth. He challenged us with a simple, yet complex statement:

“God, reveal to me what you see in me that is not giving me life.” 

Judging by appearances hinders all of our lives.  We think we know someone’s heart because of how they look.  When I was in college, one of my friends was a model.  My jealousy over her appearance stopped me from seeing her precious heart.  If we can’t get past how they look, we’ll never see their soul’s works.  Only God knows what lies within a person’s inner being:

“Would not God find this out? For He knows the secrets of the heart.” (Psalm 44:21 NIV)

If we want to know what lies beneath the water, both for ourselves and others, we must seek God.  He reveals His knowledge to us as we seek Him.  

For instance, God revealed to me my issue with jealousy.  Through different people in my life, He’s taught me to look deeper than the surface.  My college roommate was a slim, gorgeous gymnast with a soft voice.  People adored her.  She had a good looking boyfriend. My jealousy was at it’s highest.  But what I didn’t see was her intense battle with drugs.  Her addiction was below the waterline; I couldn’t see it.  All I saw was what was on the surface.

Three lessons we can learn from today’s verse:

  • Don’t judge appearances.
  • Only God knows the condition of someone’s heart.
  • We’re to love, not judge.

Go below the surface today.  Don’t judge by appearances.

Question of the Day:

Who have you misjudged lately?

Further Reading: Isaiah 1-2 NIV, 2 Corinthians 10:1-18 NIV, Psalm 52 NIV, Proverbs 22:26-27 NIV

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