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Outward Appearances
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Photo: Elvis Santana
I take the same route to and from work every day and have noticed the sprucing up of a particular establishment as I pass by. First they painted the outside of their building, put on a new roof and installed a new sign. Next they tripled the size of their parking lot and resurfaced it. They put in an attractive retaining wall, and tiered the side with lovely plants at each level. A sidewalk was installed street side where there had been none. The final touches were huge planters in front along the street with beautiful flowers reaching toward the sun, a new neon sign in the front window and purple petunias in hanging baskets on each side of the front door.

I appreciate all the time, effort and money the owners have put in to improve the appearance of their business. The problem is the business is a bar. Yes, I understand that this is a place that many people feel comfortable, talking with their friends, releasing stress by playing a friendly game of pool, grabbing a bite to eat on their way home from work. But it is primarily a place that serves alcohol. And alcohol has the ugly ability of ruining lives by ruining relationships, ruining careers, ruining finances, ruining mental, spiritual and physical health. So no matter how much those proprietors fix up the place, it can never do away with what is on the inside of their building.

Things Deceptive

I started to mentally list other things I’ve found in my life that look OK on the outside but are deceptive, literally or figuratively, about their inside.

-A delicious looking dessert with a mystery ingredient that left a bitter taste.

-A spiffed up car with an engine needing major repairs.

-A beautiful cream colored antique McCoy pot with a crumbling interior.

-A repairman whose work was not executed at the standard advertised on his flyer.

-A person who interviewed well but did not perform up to expectations.

1 Samuel 16:7 came to mind, “The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” I made a renewed commitment to making sure that my “insides”—my attitudes, my thoughts, my devotional life—are something beautiful to God.

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By Denise Schaller Curnutt. Copyright © 2011 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture take from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®.


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