inward versus outward

I think some might accuse me of some navel gazing in at least some of my posts. I can be taken up with inward struggles, anxiety being perhaps foremost among them. Actually I’ve come to see that I likely am an introvert. I tend to be inside myself, which I think can be both good, or bad, depending.

If we’re turned in on ourselves all the time, so that it’s about us and our struggles, or issues, then we’re not living the life God has called us to in Jesus. A life of community and mission. The Jesus Creed of loving God with all our being and doing, and loving our neighbor as ourselves. We’re missing the boat.

But to deny inward occupation, as in searching one’s heart and asking God to do so. Praying and thinking. Being still so as to be open to God’s voice. That equally is in error. And by nature, some of what we do inwardly will get us out beyond ourselves. Even the struggle to get out of our inward struggles can drive us anew to God, at least to prayers.

I love those hours when I seem completely outside of myself, engaged in activities and works, not a personal care in the world. Quite a bit of the time though there is one inward tussling, or another. Thankfully not occupying my entire day, as a rule.

The important question is whether or not we’re turning it over to God. Endeavoring to live in obedience to God in community in Jesus, and in mission. That can seem, and probably look rather ugly, or clumsy to say the least, to us. But God sees it, and knows our honest endeavor, and desire, or even simply our plea for his grace. God answers. God is at work.

And so we go on, regardless of our inward disposition. Seeking to follow.

2 comments on “inward versus outward

  1. nmpreach says:

    Ted,
    I’m often reminded of how analytical I am. There are times when the gift comes in handy. However, there are times when it’s “over the top”. I must find a healthy balance.

    You make a great point about being introspective at times and looking outward at others. The only view to be considered as healthy is when we look to God for guidance. Thanks for the reminder.

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