DE-EMPHASIZE THE OUTSIDE 
RETURN TO POEM LIST 
 
"You plain dressin’ people," 
the would–be scholar railed,  
"The heart is all that matters.  
On this point you’ve failed,"  
 
Don’t emphasize the outward.  
Man–made rules you give.  
Don’t follow man’s traditions,  
and in this bondage live.  
 
"Now wait a minute friend,"  
the plain old man replied,  
“I’ve a word or two to say,  
so won’t you step inside?”  
 
"I think you are mistaken  
to judge me as you do;  
and if you’ll pay attention,  
I’ll shed some light for you.  
 
I see you in your fancy suit.  
the latest shoes and tie.  
My clothes are very simple,  
the cheapest you can buy.  
 
I see your hair is set and sprayed,  
styled by modern device.  
In all the time you’ve taken,  
I’d comb my hair thrice. 
 
We’ve no time to fix and curl,  
no money for pearls and gold;  
We must train our children  
before they are too old.  
 
We’ve no time or money,  
no emphasis to give  
on all your man’s traditions.  
the worldly way you live. 
 
We focus on the inside,  
not getting human praise;  
so we can be more holy,  
and godly children raise.  
 
Your heart is with your treasure:  
the way you look and smell,  
the car, the home, the holiday:  
man’s praises you love well.  
 
I also see your wife  
is caught up in the race.  
much time and money spent 
just to keep the pace.  
 
She’s hunting for a look,  
no - not from God above.  
Her emphasis is clear,  
with self she is in love.  
 
You see my home is simple,  
with Scripture on the wall  
to edify my spirit  
and save me from a fall.  
 
Just what exhortations, 
pray tell me, that you gain  
by money you’ve invested  
so like kings you reign?  
 
Man’s fashion and traditions:  
by man’s rules you live  
I live by what is simple, 
to God my heart I give.  
 
With principles of Scripture  
my every step to guide  
I don’t seek the worldly way,  
to walk in foolish pride.  
 
Side by side with you my friend, 
it seems to me quite clear.  
You emphasize the outside  
and God you do not fear.  
 
You say that I’m in bondage,  
but friend its you that's bound  
to popular opinion’s 
relentless merry–go–round.  
 
De-emphasize your outside,  
flee traditions of men;  
then you’ll see your fancies  
as nothing more than sin.  
 
De-emphasize your image:  
your acceptance with the crowd.  
Stop living by the rules  
of the haughty, vain, and proud.  
 
De-emphasize your pleasure,  
entertainment, fun and ease.  
Don’t be a belly–Christian,  
seek only God to please.  
 
De-emphasize your status,  
though religious you may be:  
religion will not save you,  
while from truth you flee.  
 
Repent and pray to Jesus  
to cleanse that worldly stain.  
He’ll wash your heart from vanity  
and leave you clean and plain. 
 
MARK BULLEN