If you came over from Encouragement for Today, welcome. I’m so glad you are here.
What if people saw the inside of us first?
Weird question, I know.
Yet it’s who we truly are.
What if someone walked up to us and instantly saw our heart for the oppressed? Or the anger that we hold close and nurture like a new born babe?
What if they knew that we are insecure or that our temper rages just below the surface? What if they saw the child like delight of our faith or the depression we hold at bay?
Some of those are character traits and some of these are temporary emotions, and to be honest a lot of these are seen.
We just don’t realize it.
While I’m grateful that you can’t see every emotion or struggle that is on the inside of me, I love that God can.
There’s never a time that I feel that I have to walk into the presence of God in my Sunday best. I can walk into his presence inside out — hurting because of the news of this past weekend, or frustrated, or so hungry spiritually that I can’t see straight.
I can walk in when deadlines make me tired. I can stand in his presence joyful. I can invite him in to those moments where simple happiness fills my heart.
We talk a lot about cleaning up the outside, even in Christian circles. What might happen if we worried less about what people saw on the outside and placed that emphasis on the inside instead?
What would they see then?
This is my prayer for the inside-out version of Suzie.
Lord, help me be honest always
Father, carve deep wells of kindness in my heart
Teach me what to do with unresolved frustration
Give me patience in the areas I need it most
I desire to speak honestly, always. I don’t ever misconstrue my words but sometimes I hold them back, not because I’m trying to be sensitive, but because we live in a world where anyone can say what they want to about you.
It’s easier to be quiet, but I sense God asking me to be a little braver in that area.
I’m asking God to make my heart kinder. To think kindly before jumping into frustration.
And patience? Well, that’s an area he’s still working on and I welcome it.
None of us have it all together on the inside.
David wrote this verse, a flawed man loved by God deeply. The word “clean” doesn’t mean pure, but the essence of his heart.
Lord, let the essence of my heart reflect you.
What a beautiful way to live inside out.
It’s a printable journal to use while reading Come With Me: Discovering the Beauty of Following Where He Leads. Download it free.
While you are at it, if you desire to read Chapter One and the Foreword and Introduction of Come With Me, I’d love to give that to you as well.
We love to be invited. We want to be included. We long for more. Only Jesus can truly offer all of that to us–and he does. Suzie’s encouragement and insights give us what we need to say the most life-changing, soul-freeing yes our hearts will ever utter.
—Holley Gerth, Wall Street Journal bestselling author of You’re Already Amazing
Great post! I’m studying Proverbs at the present time and what you’ve written about today goes right along with what I learned in Chapter 1, verse 23 — “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.”
Most of us have probably heard that “Out of the mouth, the heart speaks.” Those are true words. I know I’ve been guilty of saying something the wrong way, or in a harsh tone and even the total foot in the mouth type scenario, and regretted it.
When I came across that verse of Scripture, I had to stop. I could go no further until Father and I had a good long talk about this one! … “the issues of life.” Yes, I really had to stop and consider this one; I’d come across another lesson God wanted to teach me.
Our heart is our very innermost being — it’s at the core of our emotions and our will. God does look at us from the inside out. He knows our heart, and He knows His children; those who’ve chosen Him as LORD, but if we don’t have Him on the throne in our lives — in our heart, our tongue can really do some damage. If left unchecked … well, suffice it to say that it’s NOT Christ people see in us.
It was one of those ‘lightbulb’ lessons for me and man, did it get me. God is LORD of my life and if I want to be more like Christ, bringing glory to our Father, my heart and my tongue were going to have to get it together. I needed a little heart surgery! I realized how I’d let frustration, impatience and disappointment pull my will out of line from His and that’s dangerous territory.
The beautiful words of Hillsong United, “My heart and my soul, I give you control; consume me from the inside out LORD” –that’s my heart’s cry, and with His help, my will (heart) can remain in His, with a surrendered tongue.
If people could see me from the inside first, I would want them to see a heart like Jesus.
LOVE this Suzie ==> “I’m asking God to make my heart kinder. To think kindly before jumping into frustration.” Great example for my heart today!
I so appreciate your open & honest writing. Your tender, reflective voice is disarming. A heart stirring post.
LOVE this, Suzie. (Especially the first line and question. Goodness, you have a way with writing for ministry!) My thoughts and writing have been central on my own heart lately. He’s coaxing me there. Your words are more encouragement in the coaxing. Praise God. He is good.
Suzie- such great thoughts! I’ve worked so long to cover what I truly was feeling and the brokenness that I didn’t want others to see. Only since I’ve admitted my mess have I really felt healing and a ministry.
I aim to be authentic even when I want to cover up. God can be best seen when I admit I need Him.
I enjoyed this!
Being a recovering people pleaser, I have lived a life of filtering my words a million times over before saying them as to make sure not to offend anyone. Usually, it would result in me not saying anything and just sitting quietly! All through college, my grades were brought down because I was quiet in participation. I would quietly sit and listen. Actually speaking would cause physical pain! God has brought me so far! To think I now write words that thousands read! Ha! God is so good! But your post? It made me think that maybe there’s a space in there for me to use those years of holding back yet my newfound voice for Christ. May I be loud for Him in a gentle and loving way always!
Suzie, I am always blessed by my time with you. You are a special person in my faith walk and in my life!
Thank you for the free journal! So very much appreciated. I purchased your book at the local Lifeway Store-
“There’s never a time that I feel that I have to walk into the presence of God in my Sunday best. I can walk into his presence inside out..”
Oh.my.goodness. This line just stuck out to me. I attended a church for a while where I felt I had to have it all sucked up and in, in order to be a leader there. It was a hard time for me because I epically failed to not be an emotional basket-case most of the time, because I don’t put up fronts well and apparently needed healing in some areas. No matter how hard I would try to be strong, I broke down at the altar each time. Finally I realized it was okay to live at Jesus feet and need Him that much. Because I do! Wish someone would have walked up to me then as said these very words, but now I can share this Hope with others!
Thanks so much for this, Suzie!
This is a beautiful post Suzie! Sharing with my readers now. <3