from the outside in

Signs of change are in the air.  High school seniors are about to walk across the stage and become official alumni of their alma maters.  Couples who are madly in love are preparing to exchange vows and a kiss and enter the world of marriage.  Still, others are entering new phases of transition in their lives in multiple ways.  I am no exception.

In this journey we call life, things are always changing.  It shouldn't be surprising to us when we look back in time and see a noticeable difference in who we are....who we have become.  Hopefully we will see improvement in ourselves - and don't we all need some improvement?  As Christians, we have a standard to judge ourselves and our progress.  That standard is Jesus Christ. 

I don't know about you, but I am my own worst critic!  I struggle to be everything that I know I should be for Christ.  Some days are better than others, but it seems that lately, I find myself feeling the need to fall flat on my face before the Lord and beg for forgiveness.  Others may not see what I see when I look in the mirror.  They may assume that I have it all together.....but I certainly do not! 

I'm not suggesting that I think I give that appearance to others.  I just know that I find myself thinking the same thing when I look at those who seem to be "walking the walk" and not just talking about it.  The thing I struggle with even more is constantly worrying about what others think of me.  I should be more concerned with what Christ thinks of me.

I believe that intentional living is the key to growing my faith in Christ.  As I prepare my heart and organize my daily life with this in mind, I find comfort in the fact that the Lord does not look at the things that people look at.  People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart
(1 Samuel 16). 

As we grow and become more Christ-like, let's remember to look from the outside in.  Let's examine our own hearts and then seek to know the hearts of others.

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