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Thursday, December 4, 2008

Cellophane Wrappers

As a teen working at a golf course’s pro shop, I was impressed with the colorful appearance of the golf balls in a glass showcase. Penfolds, Titleists, Spaldings, U.S. Royals, and Dunlops came colorfully wrapped in cellophane, and each one sold for less than a dollar. Today, the price might be $25, $30, or more. Even an empty box that once held a dozen cellophane-wrapped golf balls may fetch nearly $100 today.

The bright wrapping certainly enhanced a golf ball’s appearance, but it added nothing to its performance. Each ball’s true value was determined by what it was after the wrapping came off.

God’s Word instructs us not to judge a person’s worth by outward appearance. When Israel demanded her first king, the people selected Saul strictly on the basis of his good looks. He was tall and handsome. If they had selected their first king on the basis of how he looked to God, they would have selected David, a man after God’s own heart (1 Sam. 8:19-20; 13:13-14; 16:6-13).

James 2:1-5 rebukes those who judge others by their outward appearance and insists God places the highest value on faith and faithfulness—spiritual qualities.

If people could gain God’s approval by outward appearance, the Pharisees would have earned a triple-A rating in His sight. But God’s gaze penetrated the Pharisees’ robes and phylacteries and revealed their corrupt hearts. He accepted only those who believed on His Son—even beggars in tattered garments and lepers with ugly sores.

God still puts His measuring tape around the heart and not around a designer dress or tailored suit.

Read 1 Samuel 16:1-13.

—From Out of the Rough by Jim Dyet (Thomas Nelson Publishers)
© 1996

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