Inside out or Outside in?

So which is it for you?  When Christ came into your life, did He begin a process of changing you from the inside out or from the outside in?  If we understand the concept of spiritual rebirth and new life, we’ll quickly say that changes are being made from the inside out.  Now that Christ is our life and the Spirit resides in us, we are changing.  But that change is happening on the inside.

So why do most people look for the outside to change first?  All the character curriculums, the new lifestyles, the rules and standards—all are outside things.  It’s actually easy to change the outside.  We can do that ourselves.  But we can’t change the inside ourselves. 

Jesus called the scribes and Pharisees “whitewashed tombs” in Matthew 23.  They fixed up the outside, but the inside was corrupt.  It seems fair to say that this describes the legalist version of the Christian life.  Respectable on the outside, for the most part, but unchanged on the inside. 

The Lord looks on the heart, Samuel was reminded.  He cares far less about what you do than about who you are.  Trust the Lord to make the changes He wants in your life—from the inside out.  Progress may not be as easy to see, certainly not as easy for others to see, but the changes will be substantial and real. 

Comments?

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2 responses to “Inside out or Outside in?

  1. graceandgiggles

    In 2007 I had to walk away from a whole bunch of things first. The “outside” things; a job (long story), friends, lifestyle, etc. And in those “outside” decisions I made, He got me alone. Whew! That’s when the “inside” work began. I was undistracted. He was in charge. It continues today……..Journey On!

  2. Kay

    I’ve been involved with witnessing and the results of ‘street’ folk coming into The Church. I have heard and seen these new ‘beginners’ hovered over not in love but in works/actions/relinquished street behavior, etc. I believe The Church is so behavior/flesh cleansing that there is no room for broken folks to be changed from the inside-out.

    My take on this is that if someone is able, as I was in some things, they can throw away their cigarettes, alcohol, cursing, etc. BUT, if that is to be evidence to them that NOW they are saved, The Church has missed the point of preaching Jesus Christ crucified AND Christ in us.

    Grace is a learned person; change comes hard to many.
    I remember in 1970, 5k young people in meetings once they said the ‘magic’ words of promise and repentance. The next expectation was that they should shower, shave, put on clean ‘duds’, cut their hair….in other words, change on the outside so we would be more comfortable.
    Sad to say, little has changed and the flesh is very strengthened in both the new believers and in the ‘mature’.

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