Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Outlook (06/02/11)
- TITLE: Inside Out
By Hiram Claudio
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But at times, what’s odd is when two people look at the same scene and see very different things. One person can see a freshly budded rose and convey immense beauty. Another person, looking at the same rose, communicates … nothing special, the ordinary. Similarly, two people can look at their family. One sees love, identity, and deep connections. The other, looking at the same family, finds them easy to undervalue, seeing little impact or worth.
It’s here that we realize what we admire about gifted writers or orators, concerning their “outlook,” is … their “insight.” Their ability to see beauty and worth outside of them comes from deep within them. Scripture connects these ideas for us in Luke’s gospel, where we are told “… out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks” (6:45b).
The word used for “abundance” can be translated “overflow” or what is “left over” after something spills out. For a moment, picture yourself standing in a field. Before you is a tank in the shape of a cup, many feet taller and wider than you. We’ll call this a ‘heart cup.’ You can’t see what’s inside. The only way you can is when it overflows, allowing you to see what spills out.
We are much the same. Often times our ability to look out is the result of what is filling our ‘heart cup.’ It may be filled with wonderful things or with bitterness. Either way, the only way others see what’s there is when the abundance of it spills out. We can tend to declare that what came out was what the person’s heart was ‘filled’ with. But in truth what came out was the abundance. Something caused it to overflow.
It might be a life event like a wedding, where an otherwise emotionally controlled Dad is brought to tears as he walks his little girl down the aisle. His love for her, which was there all along, has overflowed and is expressed. Or it can be a disappointment that for someone became … one too many. As they react, we’re tempted to ask “where did that come from?” But what we’re truly seeing is not just a reaction of unhappiness to a single event but the overflow caused by many.
That’s why it’s foolish wait for times of overflow to deal with ‘heart cup’ issues. That is just too late in the process. Yet most of us mask the contents of our heart so well it can be difficult for others to know what’s going on except when it finally spills out. Then, so many will try and deal with ‘heart cup’ needs by changing or modifying outside surroundings. That can help. But the deeper impact for a change of outlook will always be a change within. To create love and beauty outside of you requires you create them inside first.
For that, we echo the desire of the psalmist when he prays, “Create IN me a clean heart, O God …” (Psalm 51:10a, emphasis added). The greatest and most meaningful change to what you see when you look out is to have the Lord create new sight ability inside. Then, from a freshly created heart, insights of wonder can overflow as you truly can ‘see’ the love and beauty that surrounds you.
Yet some will insist that the key is a change of outside surroundings or circumstances. Perhaps. However, the greater need will never be a change of your outside so the inside can feel better. It starts with a true heart change … a change from the inside out.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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