Many years ago, I read a newspaper article about some houses built across the street some of the lakes which are a part of Chain of Lakes District in my hometown of Minneapolis. The city is known as "The City of Lakes" for good reason. Within it's borders there are 22 lakes. The city fathers, recognizing this natural treasure, took steps early on to obtain the land surrounding these lakes and today these lakes are surrounded by public parks for all to enjoy.
Though they couldn't build their homes right on the lakes, the rich and famous in Minneapolis built their homes near them. As you drive the Grand Rounds around the lakes, you can also see some beautiful old homes. Unknown to the casual viewer, however, some of these homes hold some deep dark secrets which brings me back to the newspaper article.
Though stately and elegant on the outside, it was a different story on the inside. Age and lack of proper care had caused some of these homes to deteriorate rapidly inside. The article I was reading told of some homeowners who had learned that the necessary repairs would come at very hefty prices, far more than the value of the homes themselves and so they were caught in a quandary. Their homes needed expensive repairs which they couldn't afford but they couldn't sell them because they needed to have expensive repairs done in order to do so. Sigh...
I am reminded of how one can look really pretty on the outside. They can look right and say the right things but that is not necessarily indicative of what is on the inside. It might just be a "cosmetic job" and a cosmetic job simply is not good enough, especially when it comes to being a follower of Christ.
On the other hand, I remember some friends of mine telling me about a house they lived in once. On the outside, though house looked pretty rough. They did not own the house so there was little they could do about that. However, there were things they could do about the inside. They could keep it clean and neat, arrange things attractively and so forth, so they did.
It seems to me that what is on the inside of the house is what matters the most and I believe the same thing is true in regards to our spiritual house as well. What does your house look like on the inside?
Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/uncle-leo/3181720305/
Yes, I have lived in both kinds of houses and MUCH prefer the not so pretty on the outside but gorgeous on the inside one to the other. Religion seeks to polish what others see but does nothing about what others don't see. this is the very definition of hypocrisy and God forbid any of us be found guilty of such a sin.
I believe the best any of us can do is to strive to keep our heart pure and manifest the humility inwardly that pleases God. Although we do not neglect the outside, it is not the priority in our lives but rather what dwells within.
Thanks for sharing such a poignant blog that makes us all think again about the need to guard our hearts at all costs.