Years ago the Barber’s Supply Association held a convention. As a publicity stunt, they went into the ghetto section of the city and found the worst drunk, the most unpromising man they could find. He was unshaven, very thin, and sad. He was taken to a hotel, given a bath, a shave, a haircut, a new suit, overcoat, shoes and even a pocket watch and chain. When they finished, he was a marvelous example of the barber’s art. The story appeared in the newspapers around the country.
A local businessman was impressed. He told the man he would give him a job, back him, and make a successful man out of him. He was told to report to work at 8 o’clock the next day. The hour came and went, and the man didn’t show. So the businessman went to look for him. He went back to where they had discovered this man. There he was, sleeping on some newspapers in an alley, drunk, new clothes gone, barefooted and unshaven.
The moral to the story ought to be plain. It is never enough to clean a man up on the outside. You’ll never make anything of him until there is a change on the inside, in his heart. Jesus said, “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man…” (Matthew 15:19-20). Also, notice that Proverbs 23:7 states, “For as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” The New Testament is very plain about this matter of the heart. If you want a changed life you must be changed from within. Jesus said to Nicodemus, “You must be born again.” (John 3:7). That is, change the whole direction of your life. We begin to live when Christ begins to live in us. Our lives are not just improved or altered a little bit. It requires more than just new resolutions or an outside paint job. The change is so radical that a man is called “a new creature.” (2 Corinthians 5:17).