By its cover

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Think a minute…In the year 1830 Joe moved into a small community in Massachusetts, U.S.A. Even though Joe was a kind, honest and good citizen, from the day he moved to town he was rejected and ridiculed.

Wherever he went people laughed at him, and when they saw him walking their direction they would quickly cross to the other side of the street. Even the windows of his house were regularly broken by men throwing rocks in the night.

Joe continued to go his quiet way and ignore the insults. But one day as he was walking down Main Street he heard footsteps behind him. When he turned around to look, a group of men attacked him. Joe fought back, but they overpowered him and dragged him off to jail.

These men lied and told the authorities it was Joe who started the fight. But Joe refused to pay any penalty since he knew he had done nothing wrong, so they locked him in jail.

From his jail cell, Joe began to write letters to his family, telling them the truth of how the town was unfairly judging him. His son then sent the letters to a local newspaper, and soon newspapers across the nation were printing Joe’s story of persecution. The pressure from public opinion finally forced the town leaders to set Joe free. 

Interestingly, years later Joe lived to see two U.S. presidents and men all over America do the exact same thing for which Joe had been wrongly judged and persecuted. For during that time in America, people believed that all respectable men were clean-shaven, and Joe Palmer had dared to wear a beard! 

It is so true: “You cannot judge a book by its cover.” Unfortunately, some people’s beliefs go only skin deep. They just follow what others tell them is right and wrong, instead of thinking for themselves and looking deeper for what is really true and important in life. Joe’s town was a perfect example of “the blind leading the blind.”  Fortunately, Joe knew better. He knew that the beard on his face was not the real person he was in his heart and character. 

“Don’t let other people rent space in your head.” Never let others rob you of your freedom to think for yourself, and choose what you believe is the true way to live. In fact, it is not just your right, it is your responsibility. We all are made in God’s likeness with a conscience and mind to think and a will to choose. So won’t you take the time now to think through all the evidence of Jesus’ life, teaching, miracles, death and resurrection, and see that it clearly makes the best sense to live your Maker’s way. Just think a minute…

© Samoa Observer 2016

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