Bible Study Blog

Don’t Judge a Book by It's Cover

by Brandy Webb

Have you ever been in a place and automatically made assumptions as to the character of others based on how they looked? I hate to admit it, but I have. For instance, I took my daughter to a piercing studio because she wanted her cartilage pierced, and to be honest, I would rather go to a piercing studio than Claires to get piercings. It is just my personal preference. Well, while we were there a man came in that had piercings and tattoos. Honestly, I didn’t judge him at this point because I was in a piercing studio. However, the woman that was doing my daughter’s piercing knew him and, to make a long story short, they got to talking. She asked him what he had been doing that day. 

The man remarked, “Well, I was going to help someone with their garden, but I ended up doing work for the kingdom instead.” 

Okay, so this is where I made a judgment. I was surprised that the kingdom he was referring to was God’s Kingdom. Why was I surprised? Because he didn’t fit my foolish conception of what a Christian looks like. Honestly, this experience really humbled me because I am not usually a judgmental person in regards to outside appearances. Truth be told, I have piercings in my ears and my nose. I don’t know why I was surprised that this man was ministering to people about Christ’s sacrifice, but I was. It made me really take a step back for some introspection. I don’t want to judge a book by its cover ever, and I am quite frankly disappointed in myself that I did.

God does not want us to judge people by how they look. We are to discern people by their fruits instead. I know I am not the only person that has made judgmental mistakes. People do it a lot. In fact, God’s prophet, Samuel, made the same mistake when God was choosing a new king for Israel. He thought for sure Eliab would be chosen, and God tells him, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart” (1 Sam 16:7).

We also know that Jesus didn’t have any beauty or majesty that would attract people to him (Isa 53:2). He even rebuked the Jews of His day in the Temple during the Feast because they judged by appearance and not by righteous judgment (John 7). Therefore, we Christians must strive to be like Christ and not judge by appearances. There are no set rules on what a Christian should look like on the outside. There are rules on what we are supposed to “look” like on the inside.

Hopefully, God willing, I will not make another judgmental mistake by appearance in the future. I know I am human and I will always make mistakes. However, I don’t want to make that one again because I don’t want people to make a judgment call regarding me just because of how I look. I am glad that we all don’t look alike.  To be honest, it would be pretty boring if we all did. Let us enjoy our differences of appearances. God is an awesome artist and all of us are His art work full of different colors, sizes, and styles. This diversity makes us all unique as individuals and together a beautiful masterpiece.