Can You Judge A Book By It’s Cover?

We’ve all heard the phrase “You can’t judge a book by its cover!”  We all understand what the idea behind this statement suggests-that one may have “the goods” on the inside, yet not show any evidence of those goods on the outside.  While this may be true in most cases, I believe that there is an area where it does not ring true… in the life of the Spirit-filled believer. 

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body” (NIV).

While the apostle Paul is directly dealing with the issue of sexual sin in these verses, may I suggest that he is also dealing indirectly with the manner in which believers, who have the Holy Spirit living on the inside of them, live their every day lives.  What he is saying is that those who are full of the Holy Spirit should literally show evidence of His presence in their daily lives (beyond the initial evidence of tongues!) by “honoring God” with their bodies.  This is called the enduring evidence of the Spirit-filled life.  What does this mean to you and I?  This simply means that:

  • We no longer have the right to say “no” when God asks us to make ourselves available to Him.
  • We should demonstrate our love for God, not only on Sunday, but every day of the week by offering Him praise.
  • We are called to serve others, meeting their felt needs, all out of a heart surrendered to Christ.
  • We are to fulfill our obligation and responsibility to the Lord by obeying His command to “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation” (Mark 16:15, NIV). 

What this means is that you and I simply live out the principles of Scripture in Worship to God; Ministry to one another; and Sharing our faith with unbelievers… It means that we actually “live the Christian life.”  That’s what honoring God with our bodies is all about.  And remember, in the Christian life, you really can “judge a book by its cover!”

3 thoughts on “Can You Judge A Book By It’s Cover?

  1. I believe we also see the opposite of this many times. Sometimes the cover of the book looks really good, but the insides are not so good. Look at the pharisees. They had it “all together” on the outside, but were filled with “dead men’s bones”.

    Mat 23:25-27 NIV “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. (26) Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean. (27) “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean.

    Though I agree we have the problem with “Christian’s” not acting like Christian’s I would bet that the bigger problem is non-Christian’s playing the “Christian” on Sunday. I think if we really look at the entire life (not just the life displayed on Sunday) we will see what is really inside, then we can deal with the real issues not just the surface ones.

    Luk 6:45 NIV The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.

    • That’s a great perspective on this subject Darryn. We all have encountered those who looked “spiritual” on the surface, only to discover how lacking they were in the deeper recesses of their lives. May we “work out our own salvation with fear and trembling!” Thanks for sharing!

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