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“unquotables” (aka clichés are stupid) #2

April 21, 2010

it sounds like profound truth to most people to refrain from judging a book by its cover, and for good reason. you can’t really know exactly what happens in a book simply by looking at its cover. neither can you completely figure out a person by simply looking at them. there is more to a person than what is seen on the outside, or is there?

Jesus wouldn’t say so. in fact, he says the exact opposite in Luke 6: “for each tree is known by its own fruit” (i know, its a different analogy, but the same concept). it’s really easy to get caught up in the deception of “well, they probably have a good heart…” despite someone’s wrong actions, but this idea that seems like a gentle understanding can actually be a rationalization rooted in our lack of understanding. we often like to think that people are generally good, but “no one is good, there is not even one.” Luke 6:45 tells us that if someone’s deeds are evil, that is a result of his or her “evil treasure” in the heart and, similarly, good actions are the result of “good treasure” in the heart. the concept to notice is that it is these certain “treasures in our hearts” that enable us to do these things. the verse states “the good person out of the good treasure…”, meaning that just because a person is “good” doesn’t mean that all of his or her actions will be “good.” this goes to say that  just because someone does a good thing, it does not necessarily make them a good person in God’s sight (and the same for someone doing a bad thing). therefore, while a person’s actions tell us what’s in their hearts, they do not exactly tell us what the person is about (while we can still know a good bit about them). still, this is how Jesus tells us to understand another person. He rebuked and cursed the fig tree in Jerusalem specifically because it did not produce fruit. we will likewise be rebuked if we do not produce good works. the water and nutrients needed for our production is there, but we need to absorb these things in order to produce. in summation, yes, judge a book by its cover, but don’t think you know what that book is about.

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