Appearances have always been the cornerstone of wrong impressions

Association is a heck of a thing. Hang out with people that do bad stuff and you’re liable to be looked at as someone who does bad stuff too. Go to a party as a minor where alcohol is served and even if you don’t touch the stuff, you’re in trouble when the cops show up. Go to church every Sunday and sing along with the hymns and you’re likely to be seen as religious. But just as all these associations seem to lead us to some conclusions, they don’t necessarily tell the whole story.

The whole story back when Jesus was about to be put to death was that he was the savior of the world, a wholly innocent man, and the lamb sent as a sacrifice for all the rest of us whose whole story isn’t always so shiny. The religious leaders of his time hoped that this story would never get out and so their last effort toward discrediting him was to hang him on a cross between two hardened criminals (Luke 23: 32). They hoped that this would be the lasting impression of all that saw and told about it for years to come. They were wrong.

They were wrong just like those who think that if you hang out with bad people you too must be bad. They don’t know you’re trying to help those people turn their lives around, to make a fresh start and to find salvation the same way you have. They’re wrong like the people who hear you were MIP’d and assume you drink. They don’t know you went there to pick up friends who hadn’t realized there was going to be drinking and called you for a ride. You got there just before the police did. And unfortunately they’re wrong just like the people who see you as religious, as the people back then saw the Pharisees, because of how things look in public. Yes, association and appearance are powerful things but they’re no match for our savior and our God.

The truth only our God can know and provide blow any association, any false judgment and any misconception out of the water. Our God’s truth conquers everything. So hang him on cross between two criminals; it makes no difference. We know the whole story.

It’s tough sometimes to see the real truth just like it’s tough to stick to your guns when you know the truth is on your side. I hope this gave you some courage to continue to fight that good fight and resist the temptation to judge on appearances. Please pass this along if you have a friend that could use some support in this manner.

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