If you took a look through the television listings, you could probably find dozens, perhaps hundreds of shows about makeovers.
You know the kind of show I'm talking about. It's the one where the producers show video footage or images of an old home or an apartment or a car or even a person. Frankly, they do a really great job of portraying that the (FILL IN THE BLANK) has seen better days and is in need of some improvements. Since most of these programs have to be squeezed into a 30-minute or 60-minute time slot, the improvement is obviously sped up and during the last 10 minutes of the program is devoted to the big reveal. During this segment, before and after photos are repeatedly flashed across the screen, typically demonstrating an amazing transformation.
Frankly, it really is amazing to see the changes. It's also not uncommon to see a flood of emotions well up in folks when they see the new look. You can tell the transformation is dramatic and that they have a new sense of hope in their future. But why?
Some might conclude that the new look (of whatever it is) will simplify their lives or improve the chances for success going forward. The implied pain of the old look is gone and the bright horizon of a new day has begun.
Unfortunately, after the cameras have been turned off, the crews are gone, and the excitement of the moment of change is over, these people are hit with the reality that they are the same people inside, even while the exterior has been modified.
Don't get me wrong, self-improvement is an awesome, lifetime journey. Everyone should have the quest to learn more, get better at what they do, and become the person God intended for you to be. And that may very well include changes to the outside. But the most important changes in life should start on the inside!
A great example of this is found in the gospels. In the New Testament book of Matthew, chapter 23, Jesus responded to the religious leaders of the day, calling them hypocrites at their insistence about tithing. It's obvious, these Pharisees seemed more concerned about the outside appearance than the heart of the action. In verse 26, Jesus replied to them saying, "You blind Pharisee! First wash the inside of the cup and the dish, and then the outside will become clean, too."
The lesson is that we've got to be more conscious of the condition of our hearts than the physical appearance of the exterior.
So before you invest the big bucks in the latest makeover craze, take an inventory of the inside. Focus your energies on improving that first. Then when it comes time for your big reveal of the outside, you'll be ready, body, soul and spirit!