Last month a friend gave me a box of chocolates as a surprise. It was a lovely, large, multicolor box. The packaging was beautiful, and I admired it before opening the box. When I took the lid off, I was surprised to find more decorative packing and twelve, very small chocolates.
I enjoyed the chocolates, and I am not trying to pick or be unappreciative. It was a tasty treat, but it also gave me food for thought. Initially, the packaging impressed me. It was very fancy and festive, but I soon discovered the actual contents to be sparse. I pondered, how much of my life is that way? Do I work to package myself and make my life look good, but put less effort into the substance of it?
Jesus Living Inside
As a Christian, it is especially important to ask, do I work to add to and refine the content, or do I just make the package look good? I’ve found that people usually see past the packaging and words anyway, because actions reveal the content of the heart and who lives in it. There shouldn’t be anything in a Christian's life as important as loving and trusting Jesus. I don’t need recognition or fame. Jesus already knows my name. I don’t need riches or wealth. I need to surrender and abandon self. I don’t need success. Living for Jesus is best. I don’t need to worry so much about perceptions and what’s on the outside. What I need is Jesus living inside.
My friend gave me a box of chocolates and something else; a reminder to fill my heart and life with what matters and not be distracted by enticing thrills and frills. "Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart" (1 Samuel 16:7).
Then I believe the next thing I should do as Christian is to remove all pretenses and packaging, and let self become so transparent that people see Jesus instead of me.
Am I ready for that? Am I willing? How about you?