September 28, 2011

From the Inside Out

Proverbs 15:13-15

The human spirit can endure in sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear?
Proverbs 18:14


We all have a heart. We rarely think of the fact that it pumps about 100,000 times each day and pushes nourishment through some 60,000 miles (96,500 km) of veins, arteries and capillaries—it just keeps going. But when our heart isn’t well, we know we are in trouble.

In Proverbs, the “human spirit” refers to the “heart” of our personality, the seat of our emotions, the part of us that reveals our character, passions, preferences, and other aspects of who we are.

Most of us tend to take our spirit, our “heart,” for granted, until it is wounded or crushed. When that happens, we can get very troubled with anxiety, feelings of insecurity, and doubt. Proverbs points out that when our spirit is strong, we can handle a lot of adversity. But when our spirit is crushed, life can become almost unbearable.

Wisdom calls us to understand that we live from the inside out. We often reverse that, believing that if our circumstances (money, job, clothes, and so on) were better, then we would be happier on the inside. But it’s a fool’s game to attempt shaping our spirit from the outside.

So when I look at my life—what I do, where I focus my thoughts, and what I talk about with others—where am I investing more: in my inner spirit or in the outer things of life?

Lord God, by your Spirit, “create in me a pure heart … and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Help me to focus on developing a wise spirit that honors you. In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — Henry Kranenburg

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