Have you heard the phrase: ‘You can’t judge a book by its cover? Or here is another one: ‘She looks like she has all of her ducks in a row.’
The human race has a problem of pre-judging an individual sometimes before we ever meet them personally. This is not a good attitude for us to display.
Please meet Linda. I met her on a Sunday morning when she and her family walked through the front door of the church nursery. She walked in with her husband and two little darlings. They were first time visitors.
They had just moved into the city and were checking out churches in the area. Linda was a beautiful lady. She was about 5’8″ and guessing she was in her early 40’s. She was very slim and very friendly. She had the looks many of us would desire. She had a successful husband, beautiful children, a- stay at home mom and had a great personality. How perfect! ( Are we judging the cover? yes?)
I helped them sign their little ones into their age appropriate rooms and then escorted them to the church lobby where they were greeted by one of the associate pastors. He welcomed them with a hand shake and then assisted them to the auditorium for the worship service.
I returned to the nursery and while there, I looked on the church calendar to see when the next mom’s group was scheduled. It was going to be the following week. So, when the service was over, Dan and Linda returned to the nursery to pick up their children. I invited Linda to attend the next Mom’s meeting. She loved the idea because they had just moved and she was anxious to meet other moms and connect with some new friends.
That next Monday evening, at the mom’s meeting, Linda met several moms and with her sweet disposition and cheerful attitude, she was feeling very comfortable in this setting.
Well, a couple of weeks later, Dan and Linda invited one of the pastor’s to come to their home for a visit. The timing was perfect because they wanted to know all about our church. They had a desire to become members. The pastor asked them to share their belief and trust in God. In that conversation, Dan said that he had accepted Christ as his Savior years ago. Then Linda was asked to share her beliefs. She said that she was not a Christian and voiced that she wasn’t sure there was a God.
After much time with them, the pastor left and nothing from the Scriptures, at that time, convinced Linda to become a Christian.
Over time and weeks later, this sweet family became very faithful to the church services and had started attending the Sunday School session. Linda was still unsaved but had an open mind and heart to listen to the preaching.
By this time, Linda and I had become friends so I asked her if we could go to lunch sometime soon. She agreed and a couple of days later, we met at the nearest steak house. We exchanged small talk, and to be expected, our conversation was mostly about our children.
I then used this opportunity to share with her, that God is the Father of the universe and that He is the Creator of all things, yes, that included us. I continued by using the example of our children and how God’s love for us exceeds our love for our own little ones. We both agreed that we love our children enough that we would die to protect them. I told her because of our sin, God’s salvation plan was for His only Begotten Son to die for us so we could have eternal life and some day live in heaven. As we were finishing up with lunch and continuing spiritual conversation, I asked Linda if I could share some Scripture with her that someone had shared with me years ago about how I could go to heaven. She said “yes.” So after lunch, we went to the car and in the parking lot of that restaurant, I asked Linda if she now believes in God? She answered, “Yes”. After sharing the Gospel, Linda bowed her head and asked Christ to forgive her of her sin, come into her life and be her Savior. I then closed in prayer. We cried and laughed with excitement over her new found faith and trust in Christ. She then called her husband at work and shared what she had done and he was so thrilled and excited over her spiritual decision.
The pastor met with Dan and Linda the next day and went over verses with her about following the Lord in baptism, reading her Bible and growing as a new babe in God’s eternal family. The following Sunday, Linda got baptized and she and Dan joined the church.
As far as the mom’s group- Linda was very faithful in attending the meetings. Because we only have our mom’s meetings during the school year; we were getting ready to break for the summer months. Several of the moms asked if we could do a Bible study for the summer, so we started in June and did a six week study. As time went by, Linda was growing more and more as she continued to read her Bible and study it.
One day when we got together for a visit, Linda shared with me her past. Wow! I never imagined that this beautiful, slim, kind-hearted lady could have gone through what she did. She said that she had started drinking alcohol as a five year old. She said that she had not finished high school and soon became an alcoholic in her teen years. After she was in her 20’s she enrolled in an AA program and that is where she met Dan. He was a leader in the group but years prior had attended these sessions because he also had this terrible habit. However, when Linda started in the sessions he had been alcohol free for several years and had become one of the counselors. Amazing. Well, before Linda got married and had children she was also free from that addiction.
Who would have imagined that this adorable lady, who months before entered the nursery with her children and husband; who looked like she had everything perfect, but had not known God. Who would have thought that she had been addicted to alcohol at an early age. But now, was a child of God. She reads her Bible, attends church services, teaches and lives the example of Christ before her children, family and friends. A living example of how Christ can change a life.
Oh, what a Savior!!!
…for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart. I Samuel 16:7b
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Romans 10:9,10,13
(King James Bible copyright 1985 C.C. STAMPLEY ENTERPRISES,INC. Charlotte, N.C.)