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It’s A Time to Live Inside Out

It’s A Time to Live Inside Out

Posted by Kenny Vaughan on 19th May 2020

Excerpts from “The Right Fight: How to Live a Loving Life” by John Kennedy Vaughan

“I think it is vital that we all understand love and live it, because the opposite of love is fear, which leads to selfishness, and the last thing any of us really wants is for fear to rule our lives.

“Love doesn’t just respond to what people do. Love seeks to understand the thought behind the action. That is where the truth is hidden. We must ask ourselves why people do what they do before we respond. It’s not what we do but why we do it that determines if something is loving or fearful and selfish. This means that in order to live a loving life, we must see life inside out instead of outside in.

“Love always seeks the truth, and the truth is almost always hidden. By seeing life inside out instead of outside in, I mean that we should, first, consider the reason why someone is doing what they do. The best way I know how to explain this is to ask that you consider how you see yourself. Most of the time, we know why we do what we do, and many times, if we are not careful, we expect people to respond to why we do what we do instead of what we actually do. If we see life from the outside in, we only see what people do without considering why they do what they do. If we live outside in, we care most about what people do and how their actions affect us, without regard for why they act in a certain way.

“The problem with that is that even the best response is not effective if it’s a response to something that isn’t even true. In other words, when I respond to someone’s actions without considering why they are acting the way that they are, I may have a false understanding that can’t help resolve anything or bring true understanding that helps me make a wise decision. But if I take a moment to love others as I would want to be loved, and if I choose to live life inside out, I will ask myself why I think someone may have done what they did before I respond. If I am really courageous, I will ask the other person about it. Then I can respond to the truth instead of just how someone made me feel.

“Let me give an example of a time I made the mistake of living outside in. One time, I was very frustrated with a waitress that seemed absentminded as she waited on us. I misunderstood her as someone who didn’t really care. It was my birthday, and my family and I were at my favorite restaurant. I only get to go once a year because no one else in the family likes it. I eat salty, fried crabs and normally drink several large drinks, but this time I found myself sucking on my ice most of the time.

“Tammie and I also noticed that two young girls that seemed to be under ten years old were sitting by themselves, unattended, at another table nearby the whole time we were eating. Many times, I almost got up and complained about not having my drink refilled. I wanted to yell across the restaurant at our waitress for more tea, but, thank God, I did my best to control my own anger.

“Since my family and I always share Shield of Strength necklaces inscribed with scripture with many we encounter, I normally leave one for our waiter or waitress when we dine out. That day, I hadn’t planned to leave one behind, but my kids insisted I leave the waitress a heart necklace with this scripture on the back: ‘Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me,’ from Psalm 51:10.

"After we left the restaurant, the owner chased us down in the parking lot and told us the waitress was crying in the back and couldn’t pull herself together to thank us. The owner then said, ‘Your waitress lost her husband in a car wreck two weeks ago. Today was her first day back at work, and the two girls sitting next to you were her children.’

“I was humbled and amazed. My selfishness had only thought to respond to the waitress from the outside in without considering what she was dealing with on the inside. Thank God my children saw her from the inside out.”

In these uncertain times, live inside out -- regarding others, not in anger or fear, but in love.

Laus Deo,