Years ago I made my living by selling insurance. That job didn't set very well with me and after a while I found a different occupation. I'm not saying that selling insurance isn't a good occupation because I know people who have done very well with it, but it wasn't for me.
One of the things it did was allow me to have a lot of experiences, many of which I have shared with you. I saw a lot of homes during those years. One of the things I discovered proved the old saying that "you can't judge a house by the outside." I visited many homes that looked a bit run down on the outside but were lovely and cozy on the inside.
On the other hand, I've seen some homes that were beautiful on the outside but were a total wreck on the inside. I walked into one such house one day. I had often admired this house when I would pass by. It was a lovely split level home. It looked very large and roomy on the outside. There were times that I even envied those who lived there because they could afford such a nice home. At the time we lived in a mobile home.
I had some insurance business to conduct with the owner and I couldn't wait to step foot in that house. I imagined how lovely and exquisitely it must be decorated on the inside. But when I got in I couldn't believe my eyes. It was a cluttered mess. The furniture, though it looked as if it had once been new and good, was tattered and torn. They had a couple of dogs in the house and they hadn't done a good job of deodorizing, if you know what I mean. It certainly opened my eyes. You can't always know how a family lives by the outside of the home.
In like manner the furnishings of our spiritual house also hold importance. Many believers take great care to make sure that the outside of their house is attractive. They keep the siding clean and pretty; they trim and manicure their lawns and they decorate it so that it has that special appeal to passers-by.
But they don't take the same care in the way they furnish the inside of their house. Let me tell you that what's on the inside will eventually come out. We've put a lot of emphasis on the outward appearance of our house. We take great pride in our outward appearance. We don't really want anyone to suspect what may be going on inside.
I've heard many news stories about tragedies and murders that have taken place inside the homes of others. You've heard about them too. The thing that always makes me wonder takes place when the news media interviews the neighbors. Most of the time they will say things like, "They were good neighbors; you didn't hear anything out of them. I had no idea that they were having trouble like that." The inhabitants of that home had been very careful to conceal the problems inside.
Our internal witness is just as important, if not more important, as our external one. Like I said, what's inside will eventually come outside. If our house is furnished with shoddy furniture, littered with things that we'd rather others didn't see, and haphazardly strewn with items, and cluttered up so that the person can't find anything, it will eventually be found out.
Let me also say that we don't clean up the inside of our house just for others. Having the right furnishings inside our spiritual house is really more for our own benefit. Are we furnished and decorated inside with the things of God? If so, what's inside will eventually come outside and you will be glad when that day arrives.
Jerry D. Ousley is the author of ├»Soul Challenge├», ├»Soul Journey├», ├»Ordeal├», ├»The Spirit Bread Daily Devotional and his first novel ├»The Shoe Tree.├» Visit our website at spiritbread.com to download these and more completely free of charge.
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