Christianity from the inside out (Renovation of the Heart Chapter 1)

Christianity is not a checklist of dos and don’ts. Despite the fact that many people have attempted to reduce the way of Christ to a simple kind of moralism that says you should do some things and stop doing other things, Christianity is about a complete change from the inside out.
Willard begins his book with the simple statement: “We live from our heart.” A few pages later, he adds, “What is in our heart matters more than anything else for who we become and what becomes of us.”
Because of the fact that we live from the heart, this is where transformation has to take place. The heart is the place that Jesus wants to bring about a revolution. Christ seeks to change “people from the inside through ongoing personal relationship to God in Christ and to one another.” Willard says it is a revolution that changes “ideas, beliefs, feelings, and habits of choice…”
Willard presents the example of love. He says, “Merely trying to act lovingly will lead to despair and to the defeat of love.” So, it is only when we take love “into the depths of our being through spiritual formation” that we can act in a loving way.
For me, this is where Willard makes a much needed balance to his emphasis on the body as central to our life. After all, in Spirit of the Disciplines, he said, ‘We are our bodies.’ Here however, he seems to have dug deeper into the place where the physical, spiritual, emotional, rational, and relational all merge together and produce our “life.”


Leave a Reply