A Biblical Look at a Life Made of Three Parts
The Inward, Outward and Onward Life
Your life is composed of three parts, the inward life (your thoughts), the outward life (your contact with others) and the onward life (your view of what is to come).
These three parts are woven together to form who you are and who you will become and it is no great cosmic mystery or a matter of chance that God designed these three areas for a purpose.
The Three Parts of Life
Who you are inside
How you act towards others because of who you are inside
Matthew 23:25 -28, Mark 7:23
Your view of the future based on your inner and outward life
The Inward Life
Year after year psychologists argue over which area is the most important to our well being, the inward man or the outward man, and which area helps us to better understand our place in this world. This is the concept of nature vs nurture in upbringing.
The Bible however in no uncertain terms tells us that the inward man is what makes us who we are and determines how will act and react as an outward person.
But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7
It is the the inward man that also helps you to focus on the onward life and the place where you will ultimately end up. If you change the inner person, the outward person and onward outlook will also change.
The three parts of our lives (inward, outward and onward) are not separate from each but are three parts of the whole person
The Outward Life
The problem is that too many people do not see the Inward life as relating to the outward life or the onward life but the Bible tells us that “The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know.” (1 Corinthians 8:2). It is when you start to believe that what you think is not who you are and who you will become that you set ourselves up for a whole lot of problems.
How we perceive the world and then act on those perceptions is a matter of the heart so we must therefore look to God’s Word in order to better prepare our hearts for what is to come.
That is what this article is all about, trying in some small way to call to your attention the need to look at your life as being like a play that is made up of three acts or parts.
It is necessary in any play to see what comes before in order to understand what is coming next. Perception in life is not spontaneous. Like a play it builds up as we watch the characters act out the script
The Onward Life
While it is true that our onward life is a mystery as to whom we will become still we must keep the onward life in mind at all times in order to balance out the other two areas of our inward and outwards lives.
Maybe it is easier to think of life as separate parts of a puzzle that fit together to form the whole of our lives or three acts in some great play. Take away one of the pieces and the puzzle is not complete or the play is not understood. It is only when we view the puzzle as complete will we see God’s hand in assembling the three pieces of the puzzle.
Some closing words
In life you do not have the luxury of viewing each act that is to come but you can look at God’s Word in order to better prepare yourself for the next act or scene of your life. God knows sum of your life every act, scenes and lines that is why He gave your the Bible as your guidebook.
© 2020 Timothy Whitt