Outside and Inside

 

"I'm sitting down on the outside, but..."

“I’m sitting down on the outside, but…”

I once read an anecdote that made me think. When a young child repeatedly jumped up and down in a grocery cart, her exasperated mother told her sternly for the tenth time to sit down. The girl answered petulantly, Okay, I’ll be sitting down on the outside, but I’ll be standing up on the inside!” That’s a good illustration of why God wants our hearts. Without heart, the offering is hollow, like a beautifully wrapped gift with nothing inside. Examine these empty gifts: I apologize with words but inwardly retain resentment; I cut a deep path to church each week but lack compassion for my neighbors; I mow the widow’s lawn with inward grumbling; I say “I’ll do it” without commitment to follow through; I partake of sacred sacramental emblems mindlessly, without broken heart and contrite spirit. These and countless others are examples of guile—going through outward motions without the heart in it. To give with the heart is to give with sincerity, compassion, and love—when the external offering represents kindly inward feeling. “For if [I] offereth a gift, or prayeth unto God, except [I] shall do it with real intent it profiteth [me] nothing. For behold, it is not counted unto [me] for righteousness” (Moroni 7:6). I commit to try harder to offer my whole heart as a more worthy gift.

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