Never Judge a Book by its Cover.
June 4, 2014
I am going to make a statement that will make some of you want to throw up. But it’s the truth. And I am not ashamed.
I love the show, “The Bachelor.”
I can’t help it. I am a hopeless romantic.
It all started twelve years ago when Trista and Ryan fell in love at the same time as Landon and me.
We lived outside of Kansas City at the time. Landon would come home from his night class to his brand new wife lying on the couch engulfed in the drama of someone else’s love story. A big smile would be pasted to my face as I watched two complete strangers pour their hearts out to one another in front of the entire nation. Meanwhile, my sweet beau, Landon, would crack jokes and poke fun at me– and the ridiculous idea of “falling in love” on a television show.
I am not exactly sure which season it happened, but somewhere along the way Landon changed his tune. Soon, he began looking forward to Monday nights as much as me. (Not really. That wouldn’t be very manly. But it sounds ushy-gushy, doesn’t it?)
Before I go any further, I want you to know… I could share a million different thoughts with you, but as I prayed about what to write this week, one particular thought kept rising up in me. So… bear with me a moment. I promise you, there is a lesson here.
This season, there is a particular guy who has caught my attention. He is a quite a looker. Fit, confident, and poised. His name is Josh and he just so happens to be a former professional baseball player. As I watched him interact with Andi, the Bachelorette, I couldn’t help but pass judgment on him. I found myself doubting his sincerity and wondering if he really is all that he seems to be. Simply because… he is a professional baseball player.
To those of you who know me well, you may see the irony. For those that don’t, here is why I find my judgment so interesting. I happen to be married to an ex-professional baseball player (St. Louis Cardinals) turned current professional baseball coach (Washington Nationals.) Sports are a huge influence in my husband’s life. And if I may say so, Landon is quite a looker. Fit, confident, and poised, as well.
So, do you see the irony?
How is it that I – a woman fully vested and happily married, to a man who reminds me a lot of Josh – is having to fight the urge to judge him based on his good looks and career? My instinct is to assume that Josh is not who he appears to be. That he is really a jerk. And that America, and I, will soon figure this out.
1 Samuel 16:7, “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 people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
It comforts me to know that I am not the only one who has struggled with this. Obviously, the prophet Samuel did too. In fact, David wouldn’t have been anointed King of Israel, if the Lord hadn’t set him straight. Before God’s plan for Israel could begin, Samuel needed to learn the same lesson my parents taught me… Never judge a book by its cover.
Prior to meeting my husband, my heart was broken by a former professional baseball player. When Landon told me what he did for a living, my first instinct was to run the opposite direction. Because, according to my thinking, baseball players are jerks. And they will end up breaking your heart. Right?
It is easy to go into a situation and determine the future based on our past experiences and preconceived ideas. And while, there is wisdom to be gained through past experience, we must remember to keep an open heart in all our dealings.
I can’t help but wonder what my life would look like today if I had allowed my past experience and first judgment to determine my response to the cute baseball guy who wanted to know my story.
So, I encourage you today. Resist the urge to judge. In every situation. And every person.
God doesn’t look at outward appearance.
He looks at the heart.