And you would miss out on some of the best tasting tomatoes we have ever grown—especially the Cherokee Purples. We usually have a platter of sliced tomatoes on the table every day during garden season, and many of those slices are far less than perfectly round. It isn’t just the odd shapes, it’s also the bad spots we cut out. As long as it hasn’t spread to the pulp, you can often save half or more of a wonderful tomato--sweet, juicy, slightly acidic, with a full round tomato flavor.
And many times we stand in the “store” we call life and pick out the worst people just because of how good they look. This lesson is as old as the hills and one of the first our children are taught. No one thought David could possibly be the king God had in mind but he was because, “man looks on the outward appearance but God looks on the heart” 1 Sam 16:7.
But no, we haven’t learned it any better than our children have. We still ignore the ones who stand on the periphery, who don’t share our standard of living, who don’t speak exactly like we do, who don’t dress like we do, who certainly aren’t the good-looking extroverts everyone praises and wants to be around. We live in a society that idolizes celebrity and we do the same in the church. Even the preacher has to be handsome, or at least famous, or we won’t invite him for a gospel meeting.
Israel did the same thing and look what they wound up with:
And he had a son whose name was Saul, a handsome young man. There was not a man among the people of Israel more handsome than he. From his shoulders upward he was taller than any of the people, 1Sam 9:2.
Now in all Israel there was no one so much to be praised for his handsome appearance as Absalom. From the sole of his foot to the crown of his head there was no blemish in him, 2Sam 14:25.
Then there was Jesus. For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not, Isa 53:2-3. Do you understand that means you would have thought him plain, maybe even a little homely? Would you have turned away from him the way you do from that one who stands off to the side at church or neighborhood or school gatherings? Singles out there: Does a young man or young lady have to be “hot” before you will even talk to them?
Yep, we still stand at the tomato display looking for perfectly round red tomatoes without a single blemish and wind up with bland anemic knots that, in a blind taste test wouldn’t pass for a tomato any more than a watermelon would. Look around you today and use the insight God gave you. No, you can’t look on their hearts, but you can sure look a whole lot deeper than you usually do.
Judge not according to appearance, but judge righteous judgment, John 7:24.