July 15

Written by Bill Grandi on July 15th, 2019

My title for this devotion is Inside vs Outside.

I have spent a good part of my 66 years on this planet being involved in one way or another in athletics and being fit.  From playing baseball starting at the age of 8; to playing basketball in high school and college and beyond; to taking up cycling in the ’70s on a too-small 3 speed Schwinn (I split the frame because I was too big), I have been “busy” with sports of some kind. I should have quit basketball much sooner but you know what they say: “A man thinks he can play like he used to but he’s really only a shell of what he once was.” (I made that up because it describes me).  I started weightlifting in the late ’70s and seriously in the late ’80s to supplement my cycling. So I told myself. In truth-and this hurts to say it-there was more vanity than I care to admit. I put way too much emphasis on how I looked-in the mirror and in person-than I had any right to. I liked the feeling of “the pump” that came with getting big and the compliments which came my way. Ego and pride are a dangerous combo.

As I said, I spent way too much time concerned about my outward appearance (not that I really have that much to be proud of). I should have been that concerned about my inward beauty. God told Samuel, “Man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart.” I should have taken that to heart. I should have taken much better care of my inward beauty. If I had been as diligent about my inward “look” as I was my outward “look” my life may have not so chaotic. And heart-breaking. And disruptive. And so “noisy.”

Inward beauty is to be the pursuit. Outward beauty is just window-dressing. A display in a window is designed to draw a person’s attention and start him/her thinking/dreaming what they would look like in that outfit or something similar. Reality is something else.

“Father, may my reality be a deeper concern about my inward state, my heart, my inward beauty. The saying, ‘Beauty is only skin deep’ is partially true. Many only see the outside and think, ‘WOW!’ But inside tells a different story. May I be more concerned about my inward beauty-my heart-the part you see.”


3 Comments so far ↓

  1. Bill, this post is so refreshing. I don’t think I’ve ever read or heard a sermon about this topic for men. It’s always women. Thank you for your vulnerability to share. From this post, one can see your inner beauty. God bless you.

  2. I think we all can relate to this at one level or another, Bill. We are all aging, and our outward appearance changes even when we wish it wouldn’t. Yes, let’s cultivate the beauty within us, the part that God sees and cherishes.

  3. Ryan S. says:

    I have found that it is always easier to cleanup the outside than it is to dig into the guts. Whether it be a car, a computer, or our own lives.
    The window dressing can be cleaned up to look good. I think Jesus even had a description for this in Matthew 23:25-26.

    Yup, the vessel may look good on the outside, but I wouldn’t want to drink from it.

    Going to the gym and staying fit is not a bad thing, but can’t substitute for spiritual workout that I need even more frequently.