During orientation week as a freshman at North Carolina State, I ran into Joe Cafferky, one of the members of the varsity basketball team. With him was a guy in cut-off jeans who looked to be all of thirteen years old.
Joe introduced him, saying, “This is your new teammate Monte Towe. He’s a freshman too.” I was stunned. He had to be kidding. This guy was 5’7″ in his sneakers. There is no way this guy could be in college. There is no way he could actually play ball!
Later that day we played some pick-up games and Monte’s team won every game because he controlled the tempo. Throughout our time at North Carolina State, Monte proved not only that he could play ball but also that he was a leader and a winner. Monte was a great point guard who could shoot from downtown and distribute that ball at the right time to the right guy; he made all of us better. Under his leadership we won the NCAA national championship in 1974. Monte was an All-American and continued his career playing professional basketball for two years. Needless to say, my first impression of him was completely wrong.
In life, it is easy to make stark judgments and quick assumptions. We often rely on what we see on the outside and never take the time to really understand things before forming an opinion. Appearances can be deceiving, and that is why Jesus encourages us to “stop judging by mere appearances” so we may make the “right judgment.” It is important to understand things before making rash decisions or reaching faulty conclusions. Jesus encourages us so that we may seek knowledge and ultimately obtain truth.