to take care of the inside above all else

to take care of the inside above all else

It’s not about what is on the outside, but rather what is on the inside that counts. How many of us have heard this timeless saying? Most likely everyone. As a boy who grew up with a disability, this meant the world to me.

Every time I heard that, I thought if I would be nice to others and develop my intelligence, I would go far in life. However, I saw people getting ahead who were mean and nasty while nice guys like me seemed to eat their dust.

They could act any way they pleased, and good fortune and breaks seemed to hunt them down. They have it all: nice cars, nice houses, nice mates, good-paying jobs and no worries in the world. Their life is 100 percent perfect.

Just look at their house for example: two- or three-car garage attached to the house, the house in new construction. From the outside it looks like a masterpiece. The inside is no different: a nice kitchen with granite counter tops, a big island with a lot of room to work, new and top-of-the-line appliances.

The rest of the house is in excellent condition: paintings on the walls, a mix of new carpet and hardwood flooring throughout the house. Everything is just perfect. However, as we walk through the house, we can’t help but get the feeling of how cold everything is.

I’m not talking about how they need to turn down the air conditioning, but how everything needs to be just so so.

There is nothing wrong with having things in order and having an organizing system. In fact it is very helpful to know where everything is, but some people only worry about the outer appearance of them and their family. They aren’t truly living.

They are so concerned with what other people think about them; they are uptight all of the time. They take care of the outside pretty well, but they neglect the inside of their life so much that some of them have no idea who they really are on the inside.

It is nice to look great on the outside. It makes people feel good about themselves, and there is nothing wrong with that. The problem comes when looking good on the outside becomes more important than being good on the inside.

Some of us want people to like us for a false reality. We live in a big house but have little self-worth. We have nice clothes but an ugly attitude. We take great care of making a name for ourselves, but we don’t take care of our heart.

We must take care of the inside above all else. It is from the inside out that we need to live, not the other way around. Every one of us has a hole in the heart that only can be filled by Jesus Christ.

Better yet, picture your heart as being like a jigsaw puzzle with a big piece missing. Jesus is the piece that fits perfectly in the puzzle. We can make an image for ourselves and try our best to lift ourselves up in the eyes of other people, but when we come to the end of our life, no person or earthly possession will be there for us. Only Jesus will, if we let him.

If we accept the work he did on the cross for our behalf, we can be right with God. There is no other way to God but through the son. Our relationship with God is the most important thing in the whole world, and our relationship with other people is the second important thing.

I am not a preacher, and I don’t believe that is my calling. My calling, the way I understand it, is to encourage others through the principles of God. See, Jesus did not go through such pain and anguish in order for us to have things. He did it so we can have him.

It’s called surrendering to him. Give up your right for his glory, knowing that you have sinned against him. Turn from your old ways and let his blood wash away your sins and make you new again.

Let him free you from having things and the idea of having more possessions to lord over you. When we do that, what used to be important to us won’t be any more. We will see that our relationship with Jesus and other people is more important than our relationship with things.

It it what we do from the outside in that makes all the difference in the world, not the other way around.

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