Externals vs Internals | Teen Life Christian Youth Articles, Daily Devotions

Externals vs Internals

Do you care more about your inner or outer appearance?

We live in a world that applauds those in the spotlight. And the world’s spotlight shines brightest on “successful” people. Success is usually measured by:

  • Appearance (how they look)
  • Abilities (what they can do)
  • Accomplishments (what they have done)
  • Affluence or acquisitions (what they have)
  • Associations (who they know).

Just have a look at the TV guide, check out the programs that are on during “prime time” viewing, and you will see it’s true.

It’s pretty easy to get sucked in to thinking that the externals (what everyone else can see) are more important than the internals (what’s going on inside, in your heart and soul). You can tell you have been sucked into this thinking when you spend more time and effort on the “externals”, than on the “internals”. And you can tell you have been sucked into this thinking when you value competency and accomplishments more than character and authenticity.

Check out the list below, and see which column you value the most, the external or internal.

Externals Internals
Focuses on what others can see
Values accomplishments
Values performance results
Competence first
Doing good with the aim of looking good
Display: outward show
Esteems status and stature
Competitive and boastful
Craves attention/approval
Insecure without limelight
Stressed and flustered
Reacts to criticism
Cannot let go of control
Restless in spirit
Default way of the world
Focuses on the inner-life
Values authenticity
Values growth and learning
Character first
Doing good flows out of being good
Depth: inward security
Esteems substance
Genuinely celebrates others
Secure and self-effacing
Quiet confidence/security
Steady and calm
Responds to criticism
Empowers others
Restedness of spirit
Discipleship way of God

“The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7b

Where have you been looking lately?