Friday, January 2, 2015

Mark 7:14-16 -- On Not Defiling Ourselves

"And when he had called all the people unto him, he said unto them, Hearken unto me every one of you, and understand:
There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man.
If any man have ears to hear, let him hear."
Mark 7:14-16

This is an interesting selection.  The context is that some people were criticizing Christ's disciples for not washing their hands before eating, which is a tradition that had grown up from some of the statements in the Law of Moses.  Christ explained that it was just a tradition and not part of the actual law, and then he said this.  I think it is interesting because we sometimes think of things that are outside of us as corrupting influences, right?  Like drugs or pornography.  Definitely don't get me wrong... I agree that those things are bad, and that lives are improved by avoiding those things.  But I like the statement that they don't defile us.  We defile ourselves with how we behave and how we react to things, rather than those things defiling us.  It is a really good sign as far as repentance goes.  If we've done something wrong, those things that we might have taken into our bodies... they didn't defile us.  It is our actions which defiled us, and if we *change* those actions, and behave differently, changing our minds and our hearts, then we can be clean.  Not saying it is easy.  We can get physically or emotionally or mentally addicted to things, and it is hard to come out of that.  But it *is* possible with God's help.  External things can't touch us, unless we let them.  Unless we invite them in, and change our good actions into bad ones because of them.  First line of defense, don't let them in at all. :)  But if we do... if we have, second line of defense is to clean house, and kick all of that bad stuff to the curb.  Today, let's make sure that our minds and hearts are clean, so that we aren't defiling ourselves by our actions.

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