Looks are oftentime deceptive. You can't always judge a book by its cover. Just because something might seem beautiful, expensive, or pleasant, doesn't always mean that it is.

Hollywood is portrayed as fancy, beautiful, flawless, and elegant. It is easy to think it's all glitz and glamour; red carpets and fine dining. Yet you don't see the side streets, the back alleys, the poor and homeless right outside. Television doesn't show the bars on the windows or the metal gates on the doorways of the nearby businesses. What is seen on TV is all a facade. It isn't real. It is such a small speck compared to how things really are. The image portrayed is different than the actual picture.

What image do you portray? Is it different than what you actually are? In 1 Pet. 3, the apostle talks about what is precious in God's sight. It isn't outward beauty, expensive jewelry, or being on the cover of a magazine. All of this is nothing compared to what is on the inside. As Peter said, it is "the hidden person of the heart." The Pharisees were concerned with the appearance of righteousness that men could see but not the actual godly aspect of it (Matt. 23). Jesus rightly called them hypocrites. He likened them to a dirty cup that's only clean on the outside (the part you see) and a whitewashed tomb that is filled with dead men's bones. Surely we can see the problem with this.

WE must appreciate the need to truly be who we claim we are. If you are going to be a Christian, BE a Christian. Don't dabble or be half-hearted. Be one! Paul said of Jesus that "He is the image of the invisible God" (Col. 1:15). Jesus said that to know Him is to know the Father. "He who has seen Me has seen the Father" (Jno. 14:9). Jesus didn't come to flaunt a title or or to impress people with His style. Those that associated with Him were impressed with His teaching, not His popularity. The Father was seen by looking at Jesus, yet He came to give His life as a ransom for many (Mk. 10:45).

Will you be a follower of Jesus? Or will you just put on a good showing? The world will always be worldly. Hollywood will always be portrayed as grand and showy. You and I, however, cannot expect that this is how we are to be. "If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me" (Lk. 9:23).

By Shane Williams in The Lilbourn Light, Vol. 13, No. 2, July, 2011

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