Christmas shopping. It's all the rage right? I noticed something this week as I watched people making their purchases: given a choice between a crushed box and a "perfect" box, they'll take the perfect every time.
Take a look next time you're at your local discount store. If a box has a dented corner, the shrink-wrap has a small tear, or the like, a shopper will rummage past it to find an undamaged package - even if there's a guarantee that the contents are undamaged. Are we that caught up in appearances and perception that we can't accept damaged packaging? I think the problem is not new.
There's an old story about the selection of a king. One by one, candidates passed by the prophet who was responsible for the choice. As the strong, handsome and mature prospects passed by, the prophet was required to reject each in turn. Finally, the youngest son was selected. The story is told in the Bible passage found in 1 Samuel 16. Verse 7 reads:
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or his stature, because I have rejected him. Man does not see what the Lord sees, for man sees what is visible, but the Lord sees the heart. 1 Sam 16:7 (HCSB)
You see the application don't you? It's so easy to get caught up in appearances that we fail to see the real value of person - the heart, the character, the integrity, the soul, the mind.
Have a merry Christmas. Take time to be consider the broken and crushed boxes around you. Be thankful for what's inside!