As I’ve developed my own style of writing, teaching, and counseling through the decades, I’ve taken the liberty to integrate much of the very best of what I’ve learned throughout life and have attempted to present it in this book in a manner that is meaningful, practical, and life changing.
One final concept I would like to leave you with is what I refer to as the Inside-Out Principle. In developing this, I have merged the teachings of the Inside Out model of Dr. Larry Crabb with the teachings of the Temperament model of Drs. Richard and Phyllis Arno. This combined perspective has become the passion of my personal mission on this earth.
In this one visual element, I’ve attempted to illustrate what I believe to be the culmination of everything I’ve conveyed through the hundreds of pages of this book: God created our lives to be lived from the inside out!
Fountain or Funnel
Am I a Funnel?
Lived from the outside in, our lives operate much like a funnel, gathering and consuming life from others around us in hopes of finding our identity through the acceptance, worth, and belonging the world provides. This is the natural way human beings live in our flesh – the part of us bent toward self. Either consciously or unconsciously, we consider life through the lens of “how is it affecting me?”
In doing so, the apex of the funnel (our identity defined by the world) is yearning for the things of this world to satisfy our soul needs and provide meaning to our lives. And when they don’t, we either seek for more or better (pride), or we succumb to self-absorption and compulsivity (shame). God did not create us to live this way.
Or Am I a Fountain?
Lived from the inside out, our lives operate much like a fountain, giving life to everyone and everything around us, seeking to partner with God in meeting our “neighbor’s” needs of body, soul, and spirit. We become a giver of belonging, worth, and acceptance of others. This is the natural way of living a life submitted to the spirit of Jesus within us – the nature focused on sharing the love of Jesus with others. Our purpose is defined by the question, “How can I be a giver of the love and hope of Jesus to those around me?”
Now the apex of the funnel (our identity in Christ) finds meaning and purpose through being God’s hands and feet, bringing living water to those around us – both near and far (see John 4:14). When we live in this way, we discover the fruit of God’s presence blossoming in our lives – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. This is what God created us for!
Getting to The Inside
Human beings have a natural bent towards self. The result is, we place our identity, worth, and purpose in the hands of people, places, and things in the world around us. For certain, many are appealing to our humanness and seem to promise satisfaction to our souls. Nonetheless, we must learn that to place our hope in anyone or anything that can potentially fail us or leave us will ultimately end in hurt and disappointment.
We can’t live from the inside if we’re not there. We can’t lead a person to places we’ve not reached on our own transformational journey. Attempting to present the depth and maturity inherent to an inside-out life when having stayed only in the shallow end of the pool, is analogous to attempting to display spiritual fruit in our life without our roots being solidly planted in the spirit of God.
Each Of Us Has A Choice
Are you a life-consuming funnel, living from the outside in? Or are you a life-giving fountain, living from the inside out. Which you choose will determine your purpose in life!
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