Don’t Judge A Book…

The women in my family loved to spout clichés.  Among my mom’s favorites is, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.”  Of course when we are young, these types of saying make no sense to our literal minds.  However, as I aged the image morphed into an ongoing lesson to remember that people are more than just what you see in front of you.

In talking with a friend recently, he had made what could have been a very costly mis-judgment.  He sells a high priced item that is sold by individual dealers.  As he travels around his distribution area, he tries to scope out potential new businesses to add to his dealer base.  As he visited in a smaller town in southern Missouri, he noticed a store that his product would go well with.  However, the storefront was rundown and unappealing so he did not go in to talk with the owner.

Fast forward a couple of months to a dealer show where the owner sought out my friend’s boss to see if they could do business.  He was then sent to the dealer’s store and found out that the owner has been working on fixing up the store over the last couple of years and the inside is very nice and the perfect place for his product.  The owner plans on fixing up the outside in the spring and will now be a top-level dealer in that small town.

Ouch!  No only did he judge the business’ ability to sell a valuable product, but he also failed to engage on any level based solely on what he could discern with his physical eyes.  On top of that, my friend had to have his boss ask why the store hadn’t been approached.

To our shame, how many times have we do we choose to not engage with those around us based on whether we think it will be worth it?  We wonder what will it cost in time, money, effort, etc?  We contemplate the return in affection, admiration, self-satisfaction…?

Perhaps we need to be reminded of who we were in respect to the Lord and how He responded,

For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son (Romans 5:10a)

a recap of how we are to respond to those whom God, in His grace has placed in our lives,

For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. (Galatians 5:13)

and finally, how this is possible when our physical self cries out against anything that costs more than we want to pay.

For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit…You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. (Romans 8:5-9)

It is my sincere desire that each of us will be continually have renewed hope that because of the Spirit we can be changed from one degree of glory to another (2 Corinthians 3:18).