Inside Out is a computer-animated film produced by Pixar Animation Studios, released by Walt Disney Pictures in 2015.
The creative storyline is set in large measure inside the mind of a young girl named Riley. It is there that five personified emotions—Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger, and Disgust—try to navigate her through a big change in her life when her family moves, and she has to adjust to new surroundings. Riley’s emotions also impact her relationship with her parents and affect her behavior.
After a stressful string of events, Riley is eventually able to successfully transition to a new stage in pre-adolescence as she adapts to her new home and friends.
The Bible speaks about the importance of what goes on inside of us—within our minds and hearts—and its impact on our lives.
In Colossians 3:1-15, Paul describes what a transformed life looks like. Our gradual inside-out transformation as Christians represents some major changes in a number of areas of our life, which I will outline below.
Colossians 3:1-4 (ESV) says, “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”
Our viewpoint changes as our spiritual eyes become increasingly more focused on Christ and on things pertaining to heaven.
Colossians 3:5-6 (ESV) says, “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming.”
Patrick Morley writes in his book—I Surrender—that the church’s integrity problem is in the mistaken idea that “we can add Christ to our lives, but not subtract sin. It is a change in belief without a change in behavior.” He goes on to say, “It is revival without reformation, without repentance.” And guess what? It simply doesn’t work.
Colossians 3:7-9 (ESV) continues, “In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices.”
Jesus put it this way: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matt. 5:8, ESV). Our morality reflects our theology.
Colossians 3:10 (ESV) says, “and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.” Jesus hit the nail on the head when he asserted, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt. 6:21, ESV).
If we’re not careful as believers, we can forget those things that are most important in life and get our priorities out of order.
Someone once asked Tom Landry why he had been so successful as head football coach during his 29-year tenure with the Dallas Cowboys. He responded, “In 1958, I did something everyone who has been successful must do, I determined my priorities for my life — God, family, and then football.”
Colossians 3:12-14 (ESV) says, “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.”
What we are passionate about reveals much about our hearts. Spiritual passion must include a commitment to preparing our minds through biblical study and proclamation of the gospel of Christ (see 1 Pet. 1:13; 3:15).
Colossians 3:15 (ESV) says, “And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.”
Divine peace pertains to an inner relationship with oneself, a vertical relationship with God, and a horizontal relationship with others.
It is only when we as individual believers and collectively as the body of Christ are turned inside-out that we will be able to turn the world upside-down for Christ.