On the Outside Looking In

Inviting a trusted person to make these observations requires courageous humility and a teachable spirit.

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Each morning, I take my dog outside while it’s still dark for a walk around the yard. As I passed by a window that provides a view into our living room, I stopped to look inside. In the softly lit window frame, I could see my lamp, computer, and writing chair. This is where I spend a few hours each morning writing before the sun rises. It was an interesting perspective I had not stopped to process in the twenty years we have lived in our home.

As I stood in front of the window, I thought how important it is to step outside our normal routine and relationships and view our lives from a different perspective. That is the view most people have of us. Without ever standing in that place, we will not see how we appear or sound. It is like watching a family video for the first time and seeing what we look and sound like in real-time.

These images can shock our self-perception. It is an important perspective to gain. To have an honest image of this view will require help from those who know us best. They will see what we cannot see or choose to not see out of fear. Inviting a trusted person to make these observations requires courageous humility and a teachable spirit. We will also need to ask God to thicken our emotional skin as these perspectives are shared.

An outside-looking-in moment is not something to waste. In the last year, each of us has been put outside the norms of a familiar routine, and in a hurry to “get back inside”, we might miss an opportunity to stop and make some needed observations and adjustments in our lives to become a better witness of what we hold dear and true. This is not about people-pleasing or compromise. It is making sure what others see through the window of our lives is the real deal, honest and integrous and hopefully, God-honoring.



This is an updated edition of a post originally published on Garris Elkins

Featured Image by Scott Webb on Unsplash


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About the Author

Garris Elkins is a Kingdom Winds Contributor. He and his wife, Jan, serve the global Church through writing, speaking, and mentoring. They live in southern Oregon, tucked away in the foothills of the Rogue Valley. Their shared desire is to have each person learn how to hear the heart of God and become a transforming voice in their culture.