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Thursday, 10 September 2015

What's on the inside?

I was just a laddie when my granny bought me my first "Wagon Wheel" biscuit.  It was about 3" (75mms) in diameter - and possibly a little more! - and almost ½" (13mm) thick.  A real treat!

Nowadays, I could almost manage a full Wagon Wheel in two bites!  I haven't checked, but I suspect that, even allowing for the difference in the value of money over the decades involved, it actually costs more!  The wrapper, last time I looked, hasn't changed - but the product has.   

At least I can see, as soon as I lift it up, that my Wagon Wheel is not as good value as it once was.  However, here are many products, in the grocery range, where manufacturers are selling us less, for more, but in a package that is designed to fool us into thinking that we are getting what we always got!   Often, for example, the carton is the same size - but now contains considerably more air, and much less product!

How something is wrapped doesn't always show us what is on the inside.  That is true of people as well.  We may wrap ourselves up in the same packaging, every day - nice clothes; big smile; friendly attitude - yet be less than we appear to be.

The Old Testament prophet, Samuel, was sent to the home of a man named Jesse, in order to anoint a king for Israel to replace Saul.  Each time Jesse paraded one of hos sons before the prophet, Samuel was impressed by his looks; his build; his obvious physical strength.   However, each time, God told him that this was not His chosen one.  "Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart" (I Sam.16:7).  Samuel was interested in the packaging; YHWH was interested in the contents!   Eventually, Samuel had to ask Jesse if he had any other sons.  Young David was sent for from his task of shepherding - and Samuel was told that this was God's choice.  The LORD knew that David had what it took to be king of Israel!

We live in a world that often measures the value of products - and people! - by their packaging.   However, let's not become preoccupied with outward appearance - and neglect what's on the inside!  In God's eyes, it's the contents that count.  Surely we should follow that example!

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