There’s a major challenge most of us who are Christians face, yet we’re not usually aware it’s happening. It’s our ‘outside-in view of Jesus’ that happens when we start with ideologies, cultural viewpoints and political stances, and then shape Jesus to conform to these things we already believe. And so Jesus ends up as a cultural warrior, community activist, revolutionary hero, personal therapist or great embracer. It’s sometimes called creating Jesus in our image and, while it may seem comforting, it ultimately takes us farther away from Jesus instead of drawing us closer. The antidote to all of this is cultivating an ‘inside-out view of Jesus’ and it occurs when we immerse ourselves in Scripture, devote ourselves to living as Jesus’ disciples and seriously seek to listen to how he wants us to live. It takes commitment and there will be times we fail miserably. But step by step we will discover that Jesus is shaping what we believe, what we value, how we share his love and how we are involved in our community. And suddenly we will discover that we feel closer to him than we ever imagined possible.