Have you ever heard the phrase “Don’t just a book by its cover”? Have you ever done so? Have you ever purchased a book completely based on the cover only to find it is not what you expected once you’ve read it? I have, countless times. Either I’ll purchase a book expecting it to be amazing only to find myself struggling to get to the halfway point of the story or I’ll be given a book that doesn’t look very good, based on the cover, only to find it is an amazing story I can’t put down.
People are the same way. So many times you take one look at an individual and “size them up” as they say. In seconds, you make a judgment call on the type of person you think they are. “According to published research, people form an opinion on whether they can trust someone in one-tenth of a second.” It boggles the mind how little time we give another individual before making a judgment call on them.
Fortunately for us, Jesus was known to hang out with people who had rough looking covers. He invited Himself to a tax collector’s house for dinner [Luke 19:1-9]. He talked with a Samaritan, which wasn’t culturally acceptable for a Jew [John 4:7-29]. He came to the rescue of an adulterous woman [John 8:1-11]. 1 Samuel 16:7 says “Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
If we are to be a witness for Jesus in our world, if we are to represent Him in all we do and say, it’s time we reach out to those who may look different, dress different or act different [Acts 1:8]. We need to take time to get to know them, to know their heart. We might just find ourselves pleasantly surprised.
Who has the Lord put before you to reach out to today? What’s stopping you? It’s time to be Jesus to your city.