Saturday, June 7, 2014

Which Part Of The Cup You Cleaning Up?

Which Part Of The Cup You Cleaning Up?

By: Eyob B Kassa
Culled from:

We live in a world where making good impression and having good image is everything. I think it is safe to say, in this modern world “image” has a big place than life itself. We are bombarded every single day by the media, magazine, Internet… you name it, how to look this or that, what to eat, what to dress, etc. The cosmetics industry encourages you to “shell out” all you have so you look like one of the superstars but never encourage you to be grateful for what you have or who you are. As the result we are confused and don’t understand how the relationship between the way we look and the way we feel works. Certainly there is nothing wrong with desiring to improve ourselves, but true joy comes when we start accepting and loving ourselves as exactly as we are. True joy is the result of accepting who we are as we are. We all need to realize that beauty comes in different shapes, colors, sizes and it has nothing to do with our outward appearances.

Appearance can be deceiving as well as revealing.

Our appearance projects images and sends out messages whether we intend to do so or not. Daniel Webster, the well-known American states-person once stated, “The world is governed more by appearance than realities so that it is fully as necessary to seem to know something as to know it.” I think that is true. Like it or not, our appearance makes a statement.

Once I read a story about a man standing off to the side, in front of a big church, dressed in baggy, torn clothes, unshaven and very unkempt. As the members went into the church, they had to pass this man. Not one member stopped to greet the man. All ignored him and looked the other way. The next week the pastor announced that he was the man who had been in front of the church the previous week, dressed in old clothes!

What do you want to look like? Give the answer for yourself. But, should we be concerned with our appearance? The answer is YES!!! But don’t get me wrong here, I am not talking about physical appearance. As Christians, we all should be concerned about our appearances. Why? Because we are “the epistles of the living God” 2 Cor. 3:2-3. We are his open letters. Proper image reflect proper message. As a label on a can reflect what is inside, so is our appearance. For Christians appearance is everything. People don’t read their bibles often times, but people read people. What kind of message your appearance send to the world? I am sexy, I am slob, I am flashy or I am modest, clean, orderly? Which one is it?

Your life should reflect your savior. Make sure your mouth doesn’t say one thing and your appearance say something different. You represent the king of kings and the Lord of Lords so make sure your life represent the everlasting king, the one true God.

In Matthew 23:25, 26 Jesus made a word picture about people who are looking good on the outside, but not good on the inside. He said, “You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.”

Friends, let me ask you a simple question. As you wash dishes and cups, which part of the cup needs the most cleaning? Which part requires your attention and concentration? Is it the inside or the outside? I hope we all agree that the inside of the cup is the one that gets dirty. It is the inside that needs the cleaning. But this doesn’t mean you don’t wash the outside, of Course you do. That is what Jesus talks about. Your heart  needs cleaning. Your inner heart (soul) needs to be clean. As the cup is not clean unless we address the issue that is inside so is our life. Our hearts needs to be clean from all sorts of unclean thoughts, motives, and actions then the outside reflects the inside. God is more concerned about our inner heart than the outward style. Your heart shows your life purpose. The Christian life is the life of Jesus Christ lived out through our life. It is not for a show. It is not a style. It is not a set of beliefs either. Christianity is life, and it is not our life. Jesus live his life in us. Look what Paul says in Galatians 2:20. I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Which part of the cup you cleaning up?

Your outward presentation is the reflection of your heart. The external performance reveals a lot about what is going on inside. Your outward appearance is a stage for your inside. In most cases, your outside is a reflection of your inside.

Of course, we all know about an artificial outward projection. Artificial projection is when you hide your flaws the best possible way and display a contrary message. You can fake the outward but you can’t fake what you are inside. So, be smart, deal with your inside. And most importantly, as Christians one of the reasons that we should be concerned about our appearance or image is because our outward appearance can be INTERPRETED by those around us in any way differently. Yes, we should make ourselves look presentable. However, as some one said “ a christian should resemble a fruit tree not a Christmas tree.” The word of God in 1 John 2:6 says “he/she who says he/she abides in Christ ought to walk in the same way as he walked.”Our call as God’s children is based on becoming his son, Jesus Christ. Becoming like Christ does not mean we are losing personality, but it is all about transforming our character. Life is not about you, it is about God Ephesians 4:13. And this character development, or transformation is a process Paul said, “This will continue until we are … mature, just as Christ is, and we will be completely like him” (Ephesians 4:13).

As Rick Warren noted in his book “Jesus did not die on the cross just so we could live comfortable, well-adjusted lives. His purpose is far deeper: He wants to make us like himself before he takes us to heaven. This is our greatest privilege, our immediate responsibility, and our ultimate destiny.” (1) King David in Psalm 51:10 says “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” Spiritual cleansing start from within not from outside. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks. Luke 6:45 The bible also says “as water reflects a face, so a man’s heart reflects the man.” (Pro 27:19) Your inner heart or life is an accurate representation of the real you. But how can we clean up our inside? Our heart? Our soul? First, get rid off all the junk from your heart and mind. Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God (Col 3:1-3). Second, Put the word of God in your heart and mind. As king David says in psalm 119:11 “Thy word have I hidden in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” Hide the word of God, meditate on it and live it.

Remember this,  your heart is a window to your soul. It serves as a barometer of your true spiritual condition! When the heart is right, there will be love for God evidenced by genuine worship and heartfelt work that honors and glorified Him.

So, today I ask you to examine your life. Which part of the cup you cleaning up?