The advantages of being inside out

Being inside out means you have a solid inner core of strength that you draw from, no matter what the circumstances are around you.

But sadly, many single people are outside in, which means they're controlled by their situation and influenced by the world around them.

Which kind of person do you think is more serene? Who has greater peace of mind? Who does not go from one crisis in life to another? You guessed it: the person with that solid internal core.

Being inside out takes work

Most people are outside in because it's easier. You're told what to think, what to buy, how to vote, and how to behave. It doesn't take much work to be a puppet with someone else pulling your strings.

External influences try to control how you spend your money because national economies run on buying and selling. The world around us is mostly about money. 

"It doesn't take much work to be a puppet with someone else pulling your strings."

A fad comes along and everybody jumps on board because they want to be accepted by their peers. Our culture considers success to be an expensive house, expensive clothes, and an expensive car. Note the common element is "expensive." In my ebook, How to Master Your Money, I expose how advertising shapes your thinking and how to avoid being manipulated.

Being outside in takes no effort, so that's the way the majority goes. Their opinions come from TV pundits or their friends. They are, as Jesus said, like a reed swaying in the wind.

What's really hard is thinking for yourself and drawing your own conclusions. That takes work. You have to study, exploring both sides of a question. It can be lonely digging out the truth. The majority of people don't want to do that important work. Being inside out is not something they pursue.

Counting on a reliable center

Being inside out requires a reliable center, and by that I'm not talking about yoga or meditation. This "center" is your heart, your core values. It's what you believe in and base your life on.

For me, that reliable center is the Christian gospel. In forming your own inner center, you have to cut to the truth: Is someone trying to manipulate me or are they doing what is best for me?

Now many atheists claim Christianity is manipulative, the worst kind of mind control. They say the church tells you how to think and how to behave. In some cases they're exactly right. Many ministers do want their congregation to check their minds at the door. Nonconformity is seen as sin. Not believing everything you're told is seen as sin. In those churches the preacher is not teaching the gospel; he or she is playing God.

The basis for the Christian's reliable core is the Bible. God's written word is flawless, because God is flawless. Those who feel the Bible is restrictive think they know better than God. They refuse to admit God is smarter and knows better than they do. They want to be their own God.

Single friend, I don't know about you, but I don't want to be my own God. It's too exhausting, and experience has proven I'm not very good at it. I make too many mistakes. I don't know the future. I'm also pretty weak.

To make the Bible your reliable core, it stands to reason you have to know the Bible. You have to read it on a regular basis, every day if you want to be an inside out person. You have to study it. You may have to go to commentaries or your pastor to help you understand what a passage means.

As you get older, you appreciate how much sense the Bible makes. You observe people who go their own way without God and see how much trouble they get themselves into. They bring a ton of grief on themselves through bad choices. Even worse, they have no hope for heaven.

Being inside out and single

Being inside out is crucial for singles. Even so, doing all the chores at home yourself can be so tiring many of us are too worn out to build that needed inner core.

Yet common sense tells us it's wiser to be guided by the Bible and the Holy Spirit living within us than by outside influences that have their own agenda. The Ten Commandments are a good place to start. Remember, though, we are not saved by obeying the Law, because none of us can obey it. However, the Commandments can keep you out of trouble by telling you what not to do. 

God forgives sin, but we have to live with its bad consequences. Nobody really gets away with anything. Even if the consequences are not apparent, they nibble away at your soul.

I've recommended this before, but it was so helpful to me I know you will find it useful too. The Life Application Study Bible brought God's word home to me on a practical level. It showed me how I could use his wisdom in my own life. Save your money and buy a copy of this Bible in whatever translation you like. You'll be glad you did.

Finally, we singles want to be liked, so we often go along. I want to be clear. I'm not telling you to think for yourself just to be contrary or argumentative. Learn what the right things are from the Bible. Then do those things. Do them to honor God and yourself.

Being inside out when the storms of life come, as they surely will, you won't be blown back and forth by them. Instead, you will put your faith in the Holy Spirit who lives in you and shows you the way you should go.

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