“… Judge me, O LORD, according to my righteousness, and according to mine integrity that is in me.”
— Psalm 7:8
Driving down the street one day I saw a man by the side of the road selling pumpkins. I stopped and carefully chose the right one. The poor man was so patient as I thoroughly inspected the pumpkins in the trailer.
I chose a rather large one that was perfectly shaped and free of blemishes, or so I thought. After paying for my pumpkin the man graciously carried it to the car. I was so proud of my pumpkin that would stand as a sentinel on my front porch.
When I went to place the pumpkin on the porch, I noticed that one side was perfect, but the other side had many imperfections. It was a slightly irregular shape with rough edges where it laid in the field.
Instead of being disappointed, I was elated that I chose that particular pumpkin because it had character and showed the scars it received as it grew.
Our lives are like pumpkins in many ways. How many times do we make judgments about people only to find out later there is a reason why they act the way they do? How many people received scars in their lives and desire to be loved and accepted for who they are on the inside?
How do we present ourselves to the world? We always try to put our best side forward because we want to be acknowledged. We are afraid if people see who we really are, they might not accept us.
I am afraid that if I had seen the imperfect side of my pumpkin first, I might have passed it by for another one. While there is no comparison of pumpkins and people, we are too quick to make a judgment based on first impressions.
Jesus had plenty to say on the subject to the Pharisees in Matthew 23 who were so obsessed on appearances and the letter of the law. He told them they may look good on the outside, but they were full of wickedness on the inside. He told them it was important for them to clean up their lives on the inside first before worrying about the outside.
Peter also had something to say, especially to women, in 1 Peter 3 to not be caught up with outside appearances.
“But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which in the sight of God of great price.” (1 Peter 3:4).
God desires that we have a clean heart and follow him. “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:22-24)
Isn’t it comforting to know that God looks past our imperfections? He loves us just as we are.
Debra Whittington is a longtime resident of Tucumcari. Contact her at: