The Outer Court.
Perhaps even before the outer court is a place that we may call the outside world. This includes all of humanity. The cashier who checks you out while you discuss the weather. The grandfather at the nursing home who stops you in the hall to tell you about his grandchildren. The patient that you take care of and teach how to make healthier choices. The outside world is a place where you may meet strangers, but they do not learn anything about your personal life. The outside world is a place for small talk and arbitrary facts. These are people that brush across your life, but never quite into it.
The outer court is a part of our being that can be shared with most people we come in contact with - people who show a curiosity in our lives - acquaintances and friends alike. It is our knowledge, what we like and dislike of the most neutral objects, our talents and abilities to a certain extent - but never too much. We share, that these people may have a picture of us, but they never fully know us. There are questions that can't be answered, thoughts and feelings that must never be shared. We laugh and share humor; we talk and we cry; we say hello and hug goodbye. They know the facts of our existence perhaps, but not the meaning of it.
The Inner Court.
The inner court is one of the deepest parts of our being. Just like the priests had to cleanse themselves before entering, people must earn the right to know us on this level. Only a select few may enter here. These are our immediate family and very best friends. The people that we know we can turn to in times of trouble. The people we tell about our struggles and ask them to stand in prayer. The people who understand us even when we don't always understand ourselves. These are the people who we share our thoughts and feelings with. These are the people we turn to for advice and comfort. These are people that we select very carefully. Because they hold power to change the course of your life.
The Holy Place.
This is the part of our being that we do not even share with our best friend. This is the place where our very deepest dreams and desires are held. The moments in time that have shaped us into who we are. Only the high priest could enter this section of the temple, and only once a year. This is the place where God resides in your heart. Only one other person may ever be allowed to enter. The person that enters here must work very hard to prove their worthiness. They must work to prove that they deserve even more access to your life than your family and best friends. They must win your heart and pledge to stand by you in your darkest of times. Only the vows of marriage can open this final door.
Of course, this world is not perfect and we all make mistakes. We may let people into certain places of us that they should not see. We may share too much with strangers and friends alike. But the more often I have made these mistakes, I have found that they there are almost always accompanied with consequences.
Share your life with people, but make sure they earn the privilege of entering your life first. Because every time you share something of yourself - even if it is only in the outer court - you are giving that person a little bit of influence in your life. And you should choose very carefully who you allow that access to.