Excerpt from my pastor's sermon with credit to Judson Edwards:
"'Just imagine that a man is given a present by one of his friends. The present is neatly wrapped in a small box with a pretty bow on top. Imagine that the man opens the box and discovers a huge diamond inside. He is flabbergasted at his friend's extravagance, and thanks him effusively. But then the man takes the gift home, removes the diamond from the box, and tosses it into the trash can! Incredibly, he puts the box and the bow on his fireplace mantle. When visitors come to the house, he proudly shows them the box and the ribbon. He explains that the box once contained a precious diamond, but that he threw it away because he liked the wrapping better. His friends are speechless and leave the house shaking their heads at the man's obvious lack of discernment.
The box in that story is the body, and the diamond is the soul. We take great pains to display the box to the world. We feed it, paint it, want it to be attractive at all times. But, sadly, we forget the diamond inside the box. We neglect the soul that is eternal and most precious. How foolish to spend all our energy and attention on the box and neglect the diamond. (Judson Edwards, Regaining Control of Your Life, Minneapolis, Minnesota: Bethany House Publishers, 1989).'
Do you think maybe that's the way we deal with others as well? We're much too concerned about our relationship to the wrapper instead of the diamond inside. We spend our energy and attention on the outward relationship we have with others and neglect the soul inside for fear we might harm our relationship with the outward appearance- the wrapper."
Ugh. That hit me right in the gut. Lord have mercy.