Outer vs. Inner Health

A few years ago I was in the market for another car. The family finances dictated it be a used one. I began combing the ads in the local paper for the model I was interested in getting. Eventually, my search narrowed to two possibilities and I set up appointments to look at them both.


When I drove to the first address, I was overjoyed to see an almost showroom condition vehicle in the driveway. Surely this was the one–and in mint condition, too! After kicking the tires, talking to the owner, ascertaining the selling price and taking it for a test drive, I asked the owner for the service records. He stunned me by responding, “Service records? This car has been so trouble-free I haven’t even changed the oil since it was new!”

I knew the next one would not be nearly as nice as I motored to the address. Sure enough, the vehicle was in the driveway freshly washed. It looked decent, but had some parking lot dings on the sides and the seats had a few minor stains as well. It was clearly used. Following the usual questions I inquired about service records, and was pleasantly surprised when the owner said, “Just a moment, I will go into the house and get them for you.” In a moment he returned with a thick folder of receipts and a detailed record of the services performed.

Same year, same model, similar mileage and accessories. Which one did I purchase? You guessed it if you said the one was regularly serviced! Why? Because I knew the expected life of the vehicle would be much longer with routine service. Eventually, I put nearly 300,000 miles on that vehicle–and it was one of the most economical cars we have ever owned!

As a health scientist, I know many people place a lot of importance on their outside appearance, while placing little emphasis on the internal cleanliness that comes from a healthful lifestyle. This reminds me of what Christ said in Matthew 23:27 (NLT): “For you are like whitewashed tombs—beautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people’s bones and all sorts of impurity.”

John F Kennedy quoted from the ancient Greeks: “Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity. Intelligence and skill can only function at the peak of their capacity when the body is healthy and strong; hardy spirits and tough minds usually in habit sound bodies.” Not only do those who choose a careful lifestyle last (live) longer, they have clearer minds to make better decisions. 

How is it with you? Are you clean and biologically efficient internally, or is the beauty only skin deep? The choice is largely yours!