I descended our forty steps yesterday to collect our post from the box. There was a pile of junk mail, but there was just one that caught my attention. The tinted envelope was addressed personally in impressive handwriting; my spirits rose with anticipation. Someone wants me? I couldn't wait and tore it open, only to have my hopes dashed, as it was only a business reminder! The inside didn't live up to the outside appearance.
A few weeks ago, when I was recovering from the 'flu and a few other things I won't go into, someone remarked in passing, how well I looked. The truth was that I was far from well inside. I thanked the person and we went our different ways. You could say that they just did not notice the telltale signs of the bags under my eyes or alternatively, they could have enquired how I was?
I have heard it said about other men, "Oh he is such a nice man!" Now, I want to have all the attributes of a good gentle kind Christian, but I want to be "God's man!" By that I mean, I want to be in tune with Father, be bold and courageous, act with integrity, openness and honesty and speak the truth in love. That does not always come over as being 'nice' and may even upset some. Becoming God's man is a process and I am on the way. Also, sometimes I may appear on the outside as 'nice,' but some of the thoughts I have inside from time to time are not something to be proud of. God, of course, is not fooled, He sees me as I really am and that is a challenge in itself!
So beware! All is not as it seems. We need to accept one another in love, but don't judge by appearances. Next time you meet someone, don't be taken in by their ravishing confident looks and soft flattering speech. Be discerning and be aware that they are still on the way and maybe are going through inner turmoil and having a hard time. And if you are asked to join with some venture or endeavour, pause for a while and try to see the situation from God's perspective before you answer.
"But the LORD said to him, "Pay no attention to how tall and handsome he is. I have rejected him, because I do not judge as people judge. They look at the outward appearance, but I look at the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7 Good News Bible