On my way to work, I pass through a school speed zone. It brings traffic down to 15 miles per hour, making the quarter mile stretch seem to take forever. Not that I mind, since it is safer for the children. One day, I was creeping along in the line of cars when a sound like a million angry hornets erupted behind me. It sounded like a helicopter was buzzing down the street. I looked in my side mirror and saw a shiny, newer model Ford Mustang with custom stripes rolling up in the inner lane next to me. The exhaust had clearly been tuned to emit a more impressive noise than the engine normally made. Who exactly was it impressing? Every on of us was idling along at 15 mph. We could all tell that the rumbling noise was just a bluff rather than a sign of a powerful sports car.
Some people are like that Mustang: loud and impressive on the outside to cover vulnerability and inadequacy on the inside. That’s not to say that all boisterous people are just putting on a front. Some are just naturally excitable, but it often requires the right circumstances to see the difference. Someone seeing that sports car rumble down the highway at 70 mph might not know that the sound was tweaked more than the actual engine, but those of us rolling through the school zone sure knew. It may be cliche to say “don’t judge a book by its cover” but a lot of cliches are common because they are true. Reserve judgement on people until they reveal themselves to you. Don’t assume you know who they really are based on superficial actions.
1 Samuel 16: 7 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.”