During the last Christmas, a colleague of mine presented me a hamper that was so big and beautifully wrapped. Considering its size and attractive packaging, I was full of great expectations as I drove home that evening. On getting home, I was so overwhelmed by the eagerness to unwrap the hamperís contents that I didnít even remember to greet my wife and children in my usual manner, all I just wanted to do was to unwrap and announce the beautiful gift we had received. When the hamper was eventually opened, I received the greatest shock of my life! The beautifully packaged hamper was half-filled with empty cartons and hard papers neatly tucked around some substandard household items and very scanty beverages! Someone had been deceived! My friend who bought the hamper off the shelf in a gift shop obviously didnít have an idea of what he was buying! He saw a big and attractively packaged hamper and thought that was good enough for a special friend like me!
It is sad that a lot of people go about in life with beautifully packaged appearance but very terrible character contents! Unfortunately, todayís world pays so much attention on packaging and care less about the contents. Thereís so much deception in the world today because what people really are is not what they portray on the outside. Attractive appearance and nice packaging have a way of hiding the real man inside! Thereís nothing wrong with good and attractive outward appearance, but what gives real value to a man is the quality and content of his character. The scripture emphasizes the importance of pursuing inner beauty over and above attractive physical appearance. In fact believers are commanded to pay attention to beautifying the inner man rather than adorning the outward man, what we really are is what we are inside!
Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. 1Peter 3:3-4;
Believers are called to pursue inner beauty and not to lay undue emphasis on attractive outward appearance and adornment. What makes us really beautiful and attractive is Godís nature demonstrated through our lives. Thereís no way we can truly influence our world for Christ until we begin to manifest the nature of God in our daily living. Jesus upbraided the Pharisees and the Sadducees because they went about with pious look, but underneath that sanctimonious appearance was poisonous venom of unrighteousness and wickedness! Men may be deceived and assess us by what they see on the outside, but the Almighty God can never be deceived. Someone once said the person we really are, is who we are when no one is watching, how true! If we are placed under the microscope of heaven, what picture would God see?
It is important to remind ourselves everyday that our physical bodies, no matter how beautifully adorned and decorated, still remain dust and dust they shall return to! Our inner man and soul deserves more attention since that is what is everlasting. Those who are wise will pay more emphasis on becoming a better person by adorning the inner man which makes them attractive to God and valuable to fellow men. When our inner beings become better, we are bound to become better and pleasant in our relationship with others.
Obviously one of the open secrets that we usually ignore. We fail to scrutinise the content because the package looks good. I identify with this story since I also bought something sometime back where I can say, I was conned. Today we evaluate people who are "blessed" by material display, we fail to consider the core of their life. This was a very good article. Helps the body of Christ not to lay emphasis on 'looks'. God bless.