Scripture Talks about A Heart Problem….
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.” (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean.)
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
I love these verses, to me, it shows how the things God has created are not bad. It is how/what we do with them that make sinful. Our intentions. Our convictions.
While this is so freeing, it can also be confusing.
If we feel so convicted about certain things, sometimes we can judge others based on our convictions. But we know that there is only room for one judge and it is not us. However, just because we are convicted and others are not, does not mean that we don’t have to follow/obey our personal convictions.
Additionally, these verses show that it is what comes out of us that is the problem. Specifically, saying that it comes out of a person’s heart. Think about that for a min, typically, when we think of heart we think love, life, and good things but this is talking about our heart as the source that evil thoughts begin.
Similarly, David talks about this…
Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.
Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge. Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb; you taught me wisdom in that secret place.
Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:2-10
What even more interesting, is that David said this after he had committed adultery, which is one of the example Jesus gave in the Mark passage above as an evil thought.
The LORD saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. Genesis 6:5
The LORD smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of humans, even though every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. Genesis 8:21
Even from childhood every inclination of the human heat is evil. God acknowledged this in Genesis and yet he still sent his son to die for us. Thanks Lord.
So there is a saying in counseling that I like, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. This typically refers to a person who wants help but says they don’t have any problems. Either you do have a problem that you need to work on or there is no problem and you don’t need to do anything (I have never met a person like this). More often we all have a problem here or there.
The key is to pin point where the problem is so we can work on it. Sometimes it is harder than others to pin point the problem so it takes some searching and evaluating and some more searching.
My point is most of the time we try to blame our sinful nature on something external. However, scripture clearly shows that what defiles us comes out of our hearts.
This week ask God to …
Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139:23-24
We cannot fix our heart problem ourselves, but Jesus can, he can lead us.