I recently needed to change the grille on the front of my car because of some damage to the badge. Actually the badge conceals the access to the mechanism to open the bonnet (hood if you are from across the Atlantic) using the key.
The one at the top of the page is ‘before’ and the one below is ‘after’. Is it just my imagination or does the car look a bit meaner with the black surround to the grille? Is it my imagination or did it take longer for a kind person to let me out when turning onto the main road this morning and is that linked to the meaner look of the car?
We have mixed messages about how something looks: we say that ‘looks can be deceiving’ and ‘you can’t judge a book by its cover’ yet we also say that ‘you never get a second chance to make a first impression’ and ‘beauty is only skin deep’ (although it is also in the eye of the beholder!).
I was watching a TV show recently where someone was commended for how good he looked while in his late 50s. He commented that one reason was that he had a full head of hair. “Hmmm,” thought I, “God gave some people beautiful heads, the rest he had to give hair.” Yet not long afterwards some young people at our church youth club were adding 10 years to my age because I am bald (and understandably taking 10 years off my wife’s age – she loved it!)
If we are honest we often do judge books by their covers. We may choose not to explore a website because it looks rather lame, or prefer one program over another one because it has a cool interface. We may judge someone by the way that they look – I was often told as a child not to worry but I wasn’t worried, it was just the way I looked. We may think that someone is aloof or disinterested because they don’t look at us and smile, not aware of the 101 things on their mind that distracted them. We may think someone is laughing at us when they are actually laughing at a joke someone told them before they saw us.
Thankfully God is not superficial. He knows what we are really like. And he loves us anyway! He knows what we are really like and he wants to enhance the good and diminish the bad.
So, next time you see a car that looks mean, don’t assume that the driver is mean and let them out. And next time you are tempted to judge by appearances, remember that God’s looking way beneath the surface!
Be blessed, be a blessing