Appearance vs. Reality

1 Corinthians 4:4 – “For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.”

Many people take great pains to appear more slender and youthful than they really are. That’s why certain branches of the clothing and cosmetics industries are doing so much business. But slenderizing garments and hair-coloring agents don’t make a person slimmer or younger. They only help to make him or her look that way. Most of us don’t object to one’s doing what he can to improve his appearance. In fact, in this day when some people go about with dirty clothing, unwashed faces, and uncombed hair, it is refreshing to see people who are well groomed.

It is fitting, however, to remind ourselves that in the spiritual realm outward appearance means nothing. You cannot fool God! That’s what Paul emphasizes in the Scripture in 1 Corinthians 4:1-5. He declares that he is not concerned about the judgements people place upon him and his work. In fact, he says even his own evaluation of himself isn’t really important. What matters is the Lord’s verdict. A person can do things that make him look noble before men and in the process even fool himself into thinking he is pleasing the Lord, yet in reality, he may be motivated by selfishness and greed. Mankind only sees the outward deeds and may be favorably impressed, but God sees the intentions of the heart. Therefore, He alone can judge with complete fairness.

Whenever you are tempted to speak insincerely or do a good deed only for the praise of men, remember that the Father in Heaven is watching. In His sight, it’s what you really are that counts.