I’m sitting in my front office as I write this article and as I look around, I wonder how much a stranger could discern about me based on my office décor. There’s certainly an eclectic mix of items: lots of books, records, art, photos, diplomas, coffee mugs, a few folding chairs, and my mini-fridge (just to name the obvious). And if you wanted to dig deeper into the meaning and significance of some of those items you’d discover that most all of them have stories, all of which would reveal a great deal about my personality, interests, and work. There’s a baseball cap with a big ‘P’ on it. It was a gift from one of our ministry friends in Piñon, AZ in the Navajo Nation. There’s a painting of Chinatown in the city of Bangkok that reminds me a lot of our Thai work and friends. One friend lives in that same area of Bangkok and serves his Chinese church and volunteers as a Gideon, distributing Bibles around the city. There’s a pile of books sitting on my desk that I have good intentions of reading someday, but constantly seem to get bumped down the list due to more pressing work matters, which are represented by a couple of other piles of books on that same desk. Like I said, eclectic and revealing. I suspect the same could be said for most of us if a stranger were to walk into our places of work or our homes. The interior decoration of our spaces reveals something about the interior decoration of our hearts and lives.
The letters to the churches in Revelation served as a catalyst for us this past semester to consider how other “design” elements of our lives reveal the contents of our inner selves, both individually and church corporately. How do we decorate our lives? How do we decorate our church? Hopefully, a brief tour of our church would reveal our interest in serving our community, caring for and developing one another’s families, investing in the development of churches around our country, and partnering with churches and ministries around the world to share the gospel of Jesus and advance the Kingdom of God. I hope it would reveal our commitment to walking and
For some, a look at personal interior design can be a time of spring cleaning. Our prayer is that some have and will continue to evaluate their life’s investments and to work at placing matters of eternal significance ahead of those that are passing away. For some, that same process may be just a rearranging of furniture or pictures, a shifting of priorities to account for a new season of life. And for others still, perhaps the process is one of appreciating one’s surroundings, being reminded of why the elements are there to being with, and recommitting to the calling of God on their lives. However, the metaphor of physical interior design connects to you and your inner, spiritual design, my hope and prayer are that you’ll continue to give attention to how the outer design of your life reveals the nature of your heart.