Wear Your Insides on the Outside is part of an ongoing letter to my kids, Proverbs for Kids.
I used to pick out your clothes each day and you put it on without question. You had your quirks. Sarah Kate, you went through a stage where you would not wear long sleeves. And there was also a time you would only wear dresses. Claire, you have never ever liked smocked dresses or frilly things. And, I am ready for the “not a hint of pink anywhere, please” phase to be over!
Now, picking out your own clothes has become a big deal. It matters to you what you wear. You want to be cute, comfortable, and stylish. You want to fit in, but also stand out. I imagine as you grow and mature, clothes will continue to capture your attention. You will spend a lot of time in front of the closet assessing your wardrobe and in front of the mirror considering your choice in clothing.
You have heard it so many times you probably don’t even hear it anymore. I will follow Solomon’s example and keep repeating this bit of wisdom with the hopes that you will listen, “for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you” (Proverbs 3:2). People notice what is on the inside more than what is on the outside.
Solomon said it like this:
Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you;
bind them around your neck;
write them on the tablet of your heart.
So you will find favor and good success
in the sight of God and man.
There are two virtues to carve deep into your heart so that you display them outwardly every day: love and faithfulness.
First, put on loyal love. This includes love for God and love for others. Deuteronomy 6:5 tells us to love God with all of our heart, soul, and mind. That is your whole self. Like a drop of ink in a cup of water, love for God changes every part of you, just as that drop of ink changes the entire cup of water.
Jesus expanded on that commandment in Matthew 22:36-40 to include loving others. It is not something we can do easily; it requires the love of God first. Then we can begin to truly love others. When that love for others is carved deep in our hearts, we will begin to wear that love on the outside by treating others the way we want to be treated.
The second virtue is faithfulness. In other Bible translations, this word is “truth.” This speaks of integrity, or using the truth as your life’s guide. When you write God’s truth on your heart, His truth guides you. As you face decisions, difficulties, and pressure, God’s truth is there, guiding you, helping you remain true to the person He wants you to be.
You can certainly get attention by the clothes you wear. You might even make the best-dressed list. But, the way to make a good impression on others is to wear the beautiful insides God has given you on the outside. Treat others with love and let the truth guide your every move. That makes you beautiful no matter what you wear!
This is a cool experiment to do with water, vinegar, and ink.
We are supposed to meditate on God’s principles (or basic rules), commandments, miracles, and age-old laws. Where can you find those things? In the Bible. Meditation always begins with studying the Bible, God’s written Word to us. (Dannah Gresh, My Best Friend Jesus!)
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