Two businessmen were traveling by train to an important business meeting. In the seat opposite them was an old man with a shaggy beard, dressed in a tattered sweater and jeans. Throughout the ride the two told each other crude jokes about bums and tramps, with particular reference to the chap in the next seat. When they arrived at the meeting they discovered this “tramp” was a world-class scholar and the meetings’ keynote speaker. Realizing he had heard everything they said on route, they apologized.
“It is not my forgiveness you need,” he responded, “but the forgiveness of all the common people you hold in such disdain.”
Sadly, many are disrespectful to their fellowman based on outward appearances. I attended a Lectureship once, and as the speaker of the hour was about to take the platform, I said to myself, “He looks like a country bumpkin. This is sure to be a boring sermon.” To my surprise it was one of the most powerful sermons I can remember hearing. You can’t always judge a book by its cover. Perhaps we should heed the following words: “for man looketh on the outward appearance, but Jehovah looketh on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7). Perhaps the following exhortation should be heeded as well: “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets” (Matthew 7:12).
– Tom Moore, Malvern, Ark., via THE SOWER, a weekly publication of the Arthur church of Christ, Arthur, IL. Ron Bartanen, who serves as minister and editor, may be contacted at – firstname.lastname@example.org You may also visit their website at http://www.arthurchurchofchrist.com