From the Inside Out
I had a 1965 Covair. It was such a cool car. It had a lot of issues though. First, it was pink when I bought it. That was not going to work. Then it had holes in the floor boards and the exhaust would leak into the car as I drove.
I decided to paint it white so I was not driving around in the pink love machine. It looked really good on the outside after that. The inside was still a mess.
I remember picking a girl up for church one Sunday morning. We had just had a snowstorm and the roads were a mess. I picked her up and she was wearing a nice white dress. Half way to church I heard her screaming and looked over to see all this mud, dirt and snow from the road spraying all over her. For some reason she got a different ride home.
Later I started dating my wife, Susie (she was not my wife at the time because that would be weird). As we were driving around she started to choke from the exhaust fumes in the car. The fumes that I had become immune to. I had to make a decision. Do I keep the car or stay with Susie? After many months of prayer I sold the car (Ok it took about 2 seconds, but still).
I made the outside of the car look really nice but the inside was a wreck.
That is the way it is in our lives many times.
Matthew 23:27-28 says, “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 the bones of the dead and everything unclean. 28 In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.”
Galatians 5:22 tells us how we should live. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control.”
Many times we want people to see us differently from who we really are. Instead of working on our integrity, love, patience, etc., we try to put on a good front but never fix what is really wrong in our heart.
1 Samuel 16:7 is one of my life verses.
David is about to be anointed King. His brothers are all lined up and Samuel is about to choose one of Jesse’s sons to become the next king. He comes to the first of Jesse’s sons.
Here is what it says. 1 Samuel 16:6-7: “When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord.” 7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
God goes through all the sins and ends up picking David (the runt of the litter) to become King of Israel.
God is more interested in our heart than He is with what we look like on the outside.
How are you doing at being the person God wants you to be on the inside as well as the outside?
Many times we think if we just fix the outside, the inside may change along with it.
If we start on the inside, God will help work on the outside.
Instead of pretending to love people but inside really hating them, start praying about how to truly love them with your heart and see how that changes things.
Instead of pretending to forgive someone but be bitter in our heart toward them, pray about how to truly forgive them in your heart.
God wants to change us from the inside out.