I remember a shy, quiet young girl named Sally who danced in the dance ministry. Every week she came to church with her family. The family had a solid outer form. They were all involved in programs at Trinity Church and seemed to have a close relationship. One day I got a call from one of the pastors at our church. Sally had run away from home. She couldn’t tolerate living with her family anymore. I won’t go into the details, but I can tell you that this young lady lived in chaos. When I went to her house, there was so much rubble everywhere, I couldn’t walk into any room. The outward form of the family did not match the inner content of what she was living in. People assumed all kinds of things about her family that were not true. I’ll never forget the time that she made a profound statement in counseling. She said, “I can’t make myself known to my mother.” Can you imagine that? We’re not talking about a salesman, a neighbor or even a friend. We’re talking about one of the most intimate relational structures that God has created between a mother and a daughter but Sally “couldn’t make herself known to her mother.”
In this case, the form and the content of the family were so far apart that their view of God was distorted. My assumption about Sally and her family was inaccurate. Let’s define the word assumption: an assumption is a conclusion about something that we take for granted. Assumptions about form and content can get people into trouble.
As I’ve lived, I’ve observed that most of us make assumptions that external form will match internal content. It’s not a bad conclusion. Actually, I think that God designed external form to match inner content in his original design. And the entire Bible is the story of external form that matches internal content. When God said let there be light, there was light. When God made the external promise of land, seed, and blessing to Abraham, he fulfilled that promise with content; he sent the Messiah, the Lord Jesus, to die for my sins and your sins. God’s word and his promises match.
When the Bible talks about transformation, about the renewing of the mind, and about new life in Christ, we are given an opportunity to choose to live life with external form and inner content that match. And it’s very important that they do match. Or at least improve as we walk together with Jesus. This is because organic Christian living reflects God’s character. Otherwise, our lives are not a witness to the great God that we worship and that we dance for. The world assumes that Christian dancers will demonstrate an outward form of faith that will match an inner transformation of the heart. The big question is: Do we?