Outward Appearances

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For the past nine years I’ve coached a Junior Triathlon team and there’s always a hurdle that I must overcome with new athletes.  It’s the hurdle of, “Outward Appearances”.  You see many times with newer athletes, they are entering the sport with limited knowledge and what they consider sub-par equipment.  It never fails that when their first race rolls around and they enter the transition area for the first time, which is the place where you transition from the swim to bike and bike to run, that they feel inadequate.  They take a look around and many kids are rolling in on bikes that cost thousands of dollars, wearing apparel that looks as if it were custom made just for them, and speaking the triathlon lingo that seems to be a foreign language.

I always make sure that I’m close by to explain one principal.  “A fast bike and fast clothing makes a fast “LOOKING” athlete, not necessarily a fast athlete.  It’s the engine inside that makes a fast athlete not how they look on the outside.”

The principal of outward appearances holds true for many areas of life.  Kind of like the story of the seemingly homeless man that once walked into a bank and was just looking around.  Some of the bank staff politely asked him to leave only to find out the next day when he returned, that he was the owner of the bank.

We’ve all heard the cliché; “You can’t judge a book by its cover.”  It’s true, you can’t.  You can’t tell how fast a triathlete is by looking at their bike.  You can’t tell how much money someone has in the bank by the clothes they wear, and you can’t pick out a child of God simply by the image they portray.

I once had lunch with a gentleman who I’ve always considered a brother in Christ.  I’d known him for several years, and we were meeting about the possibility of him supporting Run for God financially.  We met for about an hour and just before leaving he told me that he believed in the mission of Run for God and would be happy to support our efforts but he needed me to understand that he was not a Christian.

What?  Why would this gentleman tell me this?  There is nothing about his outward appearance that say’s, “I’m not a Christian”.  He’s a great guy.  He goes to church.  He supports Run for God.  But he’s headed for an eternity of destruction without a drastic change on the inside.

First of all, pray for this gentleman, God knows who he is.  But secondly, understand what I believe God was showing me that day.  That is that there are people all around us that look fast, that look wealthy, and they look as if they are walking with Christ. But they’re spiritually bankrupt in need of a savior.

How is your walk with Jesus Christ?  Spiritually, are you the person who walks into the bank who looks broken, battered, and bruised but it’s only because you spend all day in the trenches saving your treasure for another day?  Or are you the person who walks in looking as if they’ve got it all together only to get up to the teller and realize that your account is overdrawn?

If that second person is you, then I’ve got great news!  Jesus Christ has enough spiritual currency for eternity and He wants to give it to you freely.  All you have to do is believe in Him, trust in Him, and turn your life over to Him, and it’s all yours.  If in fact that’s you, then I’m going to ask you to visit our Peace with God page right now to find out how to become a child of God.  Simply visit: www.RunforGod.com/PeacewithGod.

For those of you who do know where you’ll spend eternity, don’t just assume that those around you do. Ask questions.  Look them in the eyes and ask, “Do you know where you’ll spend eternity?”  If they do, then they’ll be happy you asked.  If they don’t then lead them to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, if your not comfortable with that, then ask them if you can watch four simple videos together and head over to our Peace with God page.

2 Timothy 1:7 says, “God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power….”.  If you love someone, if you care about someone, then ask them the powerful questions!

If you like what you’ve heard in this blog, then please like it, comment on it, but most importantly, share it.  You never know who might need to hear the simple truth of Jesus Christ today.

Friends, I love you, but more importantly God Loves You.

Now go tell someone about Jesus!


2 thoughts on “Outward Appearances

  1. Great message, and so very true. I worked retail for a few years while in college and I often lost sales to other sales people because I didn’t feel it was worth my time to approach someone who looked like they had no money, or were just there to look. Outward appearances are just that, appearances.

    Thank you for the compelling message, Mitchell.

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