Lessons In Truth - Lesson 4 - Annotation 6
Explain why we should not judge according to the appearance. Give examples.
6. We cannot judge truly if we judge only according to the outer appearance because the appearance is limited, is not the real and does not always outpicture the perfection of the divine idea that is seeking expression.
God has given to each of us a marvelous discerning faculty that we call "judgment." When viewing things or circumstances in the outer world, we use the judgment faculty either based on the realization of Truth or on appearances that cannot be relied on entirely, whether they seem pleasant or unpleasant. For example, a person might consider a certain place of employment only by the outer appearance. Working conditions there might appear to be pleasant but the faculty of judgment looks deeper and discerns that the methods used in operating the business are not ethical and not the kind one would care to be associated with. On the outer hand, another place of business might not seem as pleasant judged from appearances, but judgment based on Truth sees integrity, harmony, and the possibility of growth and unfoldment into a successful industry. Then, of course, the reverse might be true, but when the judgment faculty is guided by Spirit within we always judge correctly. Those who crossed the continent of America in pioneer days had to look beyond the outer appearances of hardship to the dream of a country of freedom, of plenty, of opportunity for all, because their judgment was based on inner spiritual values.
Appearances are reported to our mind through our senses. The senses are divinely created avenues of expression, but not the source of wisdom, and by their unenlightened use we often misinterpret the truth behind appearances. Many times this misinterpretation causes us to be deceived. For example, we hear a voice that our ears tell us comes from a dummy figure, but it is a ventriloquist throwing his voice; we thrust a straight stick into a pail of clear water and our eyes tell us that the stick is bent, but this is not true. When viewing the landscape from a swiftly moving train or car the landscape itself seems to be moving by; in the distance the two rails of a railroad track seem to converge. The earth appears to be flat; the sun appears to move around the earth; but the opposite of all this is true. Mirages are another example of how the eye can give reports that deceive us. We also misinterpret the reports of the other three senses of taste, smell, and touch.
We should measure all things by the principle of Truth rather than by appearances, if we would use righteous judgment. As we rely on spiritual realities, the limited reports of the senses do not have dominion over us. We bless these avenues of expression but seek to keep our judgment based on spiritual truths. "Judge not according to appearance, but judge righteous judgment" (John 7:24) said Jesus.
Preceding Entry: Explain how wrong thinking affects our health and our circumstances.
Following Entry: Copy the four denials listed in the text and explain each in your own words.