Inside-Out – Looking Within to Change the Heart

Organized Rooms, but Messy Closets

What's on the Inside? A Studio 1- 37 OriginaI Image

Do you ever think that what we see on the outside is not necessarily what is on the inside? Sometimes we let our masks slip and what is revealed isn’t always pretty. Guarding our thoughts and tongues is necessary to foster good relations. But there are times when the ugliness inside of us just boils to the surface with hurtful words, harsh criticisms, and unkindness. Why we do these things might be a mystery. However, what is clear is that we have a “heart” problem. The world we live in might seems to honor the superficial. However, what is deep inside us is more important to God, than what we display to the world.

Recently, we moved into a new home. I have worked awfully hard at unpacking and organizing our rooms. This is not only so we can move around, but so it is also aesthetically pleasing. It is important to me that when someone enters our home, they feel comfortable and acknowledge it is a clean and organized space. And I must admit, there is a part of me that would also like the newcomer to think good of me as well. This is why I find it important to keep things relatively tidy and neat, at least on the surface. But if you want to know the inside story, just look inside the closets and drawers. The house might look nice on the surface, but after a few hidden reveals, it is quickly realized that maybe a second consideration is needed.

Working on the Inside

I am now working on these hidden inside spaces. As I’m trying to get these places to a level of organization that is also pleasing. This is so we can locate things efficiently. But also, so I won’t be embarrassed if someone opens a drawer or closet door. Maybe we need to consider our inside heart spaces within ourselves, as much as we think about our inner spaces in our homes. I know that my inside spaces in my heart need some cleaning up as well. What about you?

It is important to ask ourselves what we are really like on the inside. What is hidden in our hearts that we need to correct? When we become Christians, God makes us different on the inside. He will continue this process of change inside of our hearts too if we ask Him for healthy thoughts and motives. Many times, we ask God to make us well, heal us of sickness, or despair, but do we ask Him to heal our hearts?

When the words we speak or the thoughts we think are less than stellar, we need to ask for the ability to first, recognize this fault and second, seek forgiveness. This includes forgiveness from not only God, but also anyone that we may have hurt, discouraged, or brought any dismay upon with the speech that spewed out of our mouth from our thoughts.

Help Where It is Needed

Asking the Holy Spirit to help us guard our thoughts and therefore our tongues is the first step to cleaning up our insides.

But the words you speak come from the heart – that’s what defiles you.

Matthew 15:18 (NLT)

When our speech is uncontrolled it can do terrible damage such as create division among people. Just watch the news and what is going on in the nation for clear evidence of this. Unfortunately, once words are spoken the results can’t be stopped. This is why it is important to ask the Holy Spirit to help us learn self-control. It is in this way that He will give us increasing power to watch and control what we think and say. This will also remind us of God’s love, so we won’t react in a spiteful manner when others offend us.

It is only with the help of the Holy Spirit that healing can take place both when we are hurt and when we hurt others. If we ask for help, He will help us not react negatively. God does not leave us to manage our tongues or our thoughts alone. We have the Holy Spirit to guide us during all times helping us make our inside hearts to equal what we would like the world to see.

Won’t you challenge yourself to utilize the Holy Spirit to help you control your thoughts and tongue, cleaning up the inside of your heart life? Find your conviction and motivation in knowing that God does not leave us to our own devices when learning to make our hearts pure. Lastly, seek comfort knowing that God works to change us from the inside out, helping us be who He designed us to be.

Love in Christ,

E.J.

Postscript

While you are proclaiming peace with your lips, be careful to have it even more fully in your heart.

Francis of Assisi

Extra Study

Matthew 12:34; James 3:6

What Are Your Thoughts?

Do you struggle with controlling your tongue? Have you found yourself accidentally revealing an impure heart through speech or thoughts? Share your thoughts on the importance of building relationships through pure hearts and the need for the Holy Spirit’s help to do so.

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How God is working through your life?