The other morning, preparing my salad for lunch, I grabbed an avocado. The skin was nice and dark with just the right amount of give. Yum. There’s nothing like a perfectly ripened avocado.
I sliced it in half and pulled it apart. Brown veins ran in twisted paths all through the darkened flesh. Rotten! But how? It looked great on the outside.
Only one more seemingly ripened avocado lay in the bunch. I cut into it. Inside I found beautiful green fruit.
How could two avocados appear so good on the outside yet be so strikingly different on the inside? Are we like that? Are there Christians running around, seeming to have it all together on the outside, only to be overrun with ugly rottenness inside? You bet.
So how do we know what we look like on the inside? We can’t just cut ourselves open to see what our hearts look like. Not physically. And that wouldn’t reveal what we're seeking anyway. But emotionally, perhaps that’s exactly what needs to happen. Perhaps that’s precisely why God allows certain things in our lives, to cut us open and reveal the nastiness within so we can deal with it.
Give yourself a check-up. Pray to God as the psalmist does in Psalm 139:23-24. Pray “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” It’s a big prayer. One that takes courage. One that will likely result in difficulty as we learn the truth about ourselves. But it’s necessary for growth.
While we are in this world in this flesh, we will never be perfect. But we can and should continually strive to improve, to grow closer to God and Christlikeness every day. I pray we would “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” ~ Romans 12:12