There’s an old saying that goes like this: “You can’t judge a book by its cover”. And that’s a true statement because no matter whatever it may be, living or inanimate the very nature, function, attributes or character of anything is on the inside of that object, not the outside.
The Nature of Things
I’ll give you a few examples: let’s take a mountain, it’s huge, its height may be several thousand feet, and its weight is unimaginable. What make it so enormous are the tons of rock, gravel and soil material that’s placed layer upon layer inside of it.
Without all the earthly material inside of it, the outside would just be like a gigantic movie prop. It wouldn’t sustain any weight upon it. There most likely wouldn’t be any mountain climbing or animals scaling it.
Another example is a car such as Chevrolet Corvette, one of the fastest cars that anyone can buy. What makes it so fast is the highly engineered motor and transmission paired with the other sophisticated mechanical and electrical systems. This makes it a modern day technical wonder. Now without these systems inside the body of the car, this would just be a good looking scale model of a fast sports car, it looks cool but can’t do anything. It’s what’s on the inside of that body that makes the Corvette an extremely fast sports car.
The Nature of People
Now let’s take a person: a man or a woman. They can be short, tall or medium height. they may be handsome, pretty, not so pretty or average. Their body frame can be slender, medium, heavy, muscular or fat. The body is just the outward appearance.
Now on the inside, the person may have the friendliest nature, always cheerful, kind to others. They consistently place the needs of others before themselves. They’re always ready to lend a helpful hand to friend’s family and strangers. This person’s good nature blesses others and people generally like them and want to be around them.
Now on the opposite end, the person can have a harsh attitude. Other people can sometimes be a nuisance to them, they think of themselves first and very little of others. This person usually doesn’t have any kind or complimentary words to say to others, unless it benefits them. Some terms that are used to describe them are selfish, obnoxious, unpleasant and coarse. People don’t have a high regard for this person, even though they tolerate them just to get along.
Now we have two very different people, we’ll place the obnoxious personality in the handsome man’s body. Ask yourself, does his fair features make him appealing along with the bad personality? If he’s abrasive to others, I don’t think the good looks change the toxic atmosphere he creates. Why? because his body is just a shell, but his personality, that’s in his body is who he is.
On the flip side you take an average looking woman, who’s a little chubby. We place within her the friendly kind cheerful nature. In the company of others she radiates a gentle, vibrant caring persona that people embrace because that’s what she has on the inside of her . Her body has no effect on the atmosphere around her. If people dismiss her because she doesn’t look like a model, they’re missing out on a blessing, which is what she is.
The Nature of a King
The purpose of this little topic is how God desires for us to present ourselves to the world. The world looks primarily on the outside but God looks on the heart; the inner man or woman.
In the Book of 1 Samuel, God sent the prophet Samuel to anoint David as king. David’s father Jesse presented his older sons to Samuel one by one, The Lord rejected all of them but chose the 8th and youngest son David the sheep herder to be king.
1 Samuel 16:6-7,10-13 (KJV)
6 And it came to pass, when they were come, that he looked on Eliab, and said, Surely the LORD’S anointed is before him.
7 But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.
10 Again, Jesse made seven of his sons to pass before Samuel. And Samuel said unto Jesse, The LORD hath not chosen these.
11 And Samuel said unto Jesse, Are here all thy children? And he said, There remaineth yet the youngest, and, behold, he keepeth the sheep. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Send and fetch him: for we will not sit down till he come hither.
12 And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the LORD said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he.
13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah.
David became the greatest king that Israel had. He conquered and acquired many nations and territories. He wrote the majority of the psalms: songs of praise and worship that we find in the Book of Psalms. Even though David made some mistakes, and it cost him and Israel trouble. He repented and God still called him: “A man after His (God’s) own heart.” This was because of what was inside of David to love the Lord with all his heart and soul.
The Mind of Christ
Philippians 2:2-5 (NKJV)
2 fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. 5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.
The Lord Jesus character is the exact opposite of the devil Satan. Jesus cares for others first rather than Himself. He knew who He is but His mission was to save a dying world and to snatch mankind out of the hands of the enemy and demonstrate to His followers how to maintain dominance over the wicked one.
He became our example, exhibiting love, kindness, and compassion during His earthly ministry. And that’s what we’re to do also be like Him!