“Judge Not According To Appearance”

By Dennis E. Adams

It was just an ordinary summer day when I had taken my son to school. Since he would only be there for two hours, I thought I would wait at the school and study my sermon to be presented on Sunday. However, someone else had a different opinion of why I was sitting in the car.

A policeman, who had been encircling the area, stopped and started to question me why I was sitting there. He said it appeared as if I was waiting to entice some child and kidnap him. You can imagine how outraged I was.

But calmly I said, “I’m just sitting here studying my sermon for Sunday.”You can picture his face! With n”g more to say, he immediately fled the scene.

At first I was startled. Did I look like a criminal? Then whenever I regained my senses, the event reminded me of a verse in John 7:24. “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”According to the policeman, I became the victim of what appeared to be. However, he did investigate and check it out, and then made a “righteous judgment” about the matter.

Oh how I wish the so-called “religious” people today would be as careful with what appears to be the truth. Just because a man holds a Bible in his hand and presents a lesson, does not imply that what he preaches has to be the truth? The appearance of truth might be there but it doesn’t guarantee it.

Isn’t that why Jesus said, “Beware of false prophets who come (appear, D.A.) to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves” (Matt. 7:15). There has never been such a need as now for everyone to be like the Bereans, who “searched the scriptures daily to rind out whether these things were so” (NKJ).

With so many kidnappings of children today, policemen are more suspicious of any appearances of such. Also, with hundreds of false religions and appearances of truth today, man should be more investigative of what actually is truth? Or, have we lost sight of the value of our soul. Maybe, we need to reread Matthew 16:26.

Guardian of Truth XXXI: 21, p. 648
November 5, 1987