The visible condition of our souls

By Dave Henning / July 19, 2018

“I wonder, when I read the book (The Picture of Dorian Gray), how we might live differently if the condition of our souls were as visible as the condition of our bodies.”- John Ortberg

“Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known.  But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.”- 1 John 3:2 (NIV)

John Ortberg concludes Chapter 4 of When the Game is Over as he offers a final comparison between the outer and inner you.  Pastor Ortberg notes:

“Be grateful for the outer you.  Come to peace with your body.  Rejoice in its strengths.  Accept its limitations.  Be grateful for it.  Wash it every once in a while. . . .  But remember, it’s wasting away.  The inner you, on the other hand, is capable of a glory that right now you cannot even imagine.”

Therefore, John exhorts, make your biggest investment in the you that lasts forever.  Yet, tracking the well-being of the inner you looks a little different for everyone.  However, the author notes, we’ll all need the following mirrors and scales:

  • self-examination and confession
  • friends who love you enough to speak the truth to you
  • alone time to listen to God
  • key questions, such as: How easily do I get discouraged these days?  Compared to six months ago, how easily irritated am I?
  • attention to your secret thought life: What is your mind drawn to – really?  Where do envy, blaming, judging, or lusting rob the inner you of life and joy?

In conclusion, John stresses, now’s the time to take better care of the inner you.  Thus, he offers this rule of thumb:

“Spend as much time caring for the inner you as you spend caring for the outer you.  However much time you spend exercising and cleansing and dressing the outer you this week, spend at least that much time exercising and cleansing and dressing the inner you.  Notice the practices God most uses to renew your inner person.”

Today’s question: How would you describe the visible condition of your soul?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Discard what holds you down”

About the author

Dave Henning

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