It All Begins with the Condition of Your Heart

by John Tilton on February 27, 2023


“Again Jesus called the crowd to him and said, 'Listen to me, everyone, and understand this. Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles them.' After he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about this parable. 'Are you so dull?' he asked. 'Don’t you see that nothing that enters a person from the outside can defile them? For it doesn’t go into their heart but into their stomach, and then out of the body.' He went on: 'What comes out of a person is what defiles them. For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and defile a person.' ” (Mark 7:14-23)


The Pharisees and disciples both were getting hung up on the washing of hands before a meal, which can understandably be seen as best hygiene.  However, Jesus taught them that  what was even more important than dirty or defiled food being consumed by someone is what comes out of a person in words and actions; all based on the condition of one’s heart.  Thus, the question is, 1) what is the condition of my heart?  2) What is influencing and affecting my heart?  3) Who has my heart?


I love these scriptures for pointing out that we as people often look at others or even ourselves from the outside.  But it truly is what is in our heart which predicates what comes forth in what we think of people, our words, our actions, and how we treat and relate to people.  This causes me to think of how I dress myself and what to look presentable, but there are times that even though I may look very presentable by way of my clothes, my hair, and my outward demeanor; it’s what comes forth in my thoughts, words, and actions based on what I truly feel in my heart.  People may not be able to see our hearts, but God does.  Thus, I want to have a pure heart, which will then be manifested in clean hands.


Dear Lord, please cleanse and purify my heart by your Word and my time in prayer and hearing from you; that my heart would be good, and subsequently my words, actions, and how I speak to and treat others will be a reflection of you in my heart.


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