Dirty smeared with ink handI will be the first to admit that I’m not a clean freak. I can handle clutter for a little while and then I have to take action and clean up. I wash my hands often, but not like “OCD people”.  Summer time presents other issues regarding cleanliness. I also sweat a good bit if I get too hot. I think I took three showers yesterday! I like to be clean but I’m not afraid to get dirty.

Jesus had a somewhat confusing teachable moment with His disciples. He called the Pharisees and teachers of the law out because they were so dang busy keeping the law that their hearts were hard toward God. They missed understanding God while religiously studying about Him. They created rules and regulations that were supposed to help them follow God fully and instead it kept them from knowing Him. Jesus found this hypocrisy despicable.  Check this out…

14 Again Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen to me, everyone, and understand this. 15 Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles them.” 16  If anyone has ears to hear, let them hear.”

17 After he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about this parable. 18 “Are you so dull?” he asked. “Don’t you see that nothing that enters a person from the outside can defile them? 19 For it doesn’t go into their heart but into their stomach, and then out of the body.” (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean.)
20 He went on: “What comes out of a person is what defiles them. 21 For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, 22 adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. 23 All these evils come from inside and defile a person. (Mark 7:14-23 NIV)

This teaching really rattled my cage a bit this morning. I have been trying to eat differently nearly a year. I’m trying to eat healthier and have better portion control. Jesus is saying that what I eat and drink doesn’t destroy me spiritually, but physically. The stuff that goes into my heart and comes out of my mouth via my heart is what reveals I’m clean or dirty. It has little to do with my physical diet and a lot to do with my spiritual diet.  I would be wise to put my heart on a proper diet. I should possibly stop watching certain TV programs or movies. I could possibly change what goes into my heart and avoid contaminating my heart.

I have spent way too much time over the years teaching “dos & don’t” about behaviors that are more related to hurting the body and I’ve not been as strong paying attention to the garbage I listen too or watch. I need to make a stronger effort with the Lord’s help keeping my heart squeaky clean.

Pressing On!

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