I remember this little house I used to pass on my way to work a few years ago. It was a pretty little country style house that set just off the road in the middle of a curve. You had to slow down for the curve and that made you notice the little house even more. There was something special about that house. It just looked so cozy! And a middle-aged man and woman would often be sitting on the porch in a swing holding hands... how beautiful! I looked forward to seeing that place on my way to work. It always made me smile.
One day I noticed a For Sale sign in the yard! I couldn't figure out what might have happened to make those lovely people sell their lovely house! I asked around and heard "the rest of the story"! The woman had shot and killed the man! It seems He was extremely jealous and had been abusing the woman for many years! What?!!!! But..... that's not what I wanted to hear! Isn't it amazing how we judge outward appearances and never give a second thought to what's there behind the walls? A coat of paint, some vinyl siding, a pretty yard and two smiling people in the front porch swing and everyone thinks all is well! And then.... the truth, as it always does, comes out.
The Bible teaches us to love everyone, even our enemies. The Bible teaches us to look for the good in everyone. But the Bible also teaches us that things are not always as they seem! We are to judge the tree by it's fruit, not by how pretty it's blooms are! We are to judge according to what's done and not just what's said! People put on the prettiest show when they're trying to hide the ugliest things! Christians are no exception. We know how to talk the talk and smile the smile and say "God is good" and "I'm blessed"! But, as Jesus said about the Pharisees, we are sometimes like "whitewashed sepulchers; full of dead men's bones and all corruption"! Be careful; don't be deceived by the "churchy" laguage and the pretty smiles! Be "as gentle as doves, but as wise as serpents"!