Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Titus 1:15-16 -- On Cleaning Up Our Minds

"Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.
They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate."
Titus 1:15-16

This selection is interesting when compared to Mark 7:15: "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."  We're assisted in our interpretation by Christ's explanation of his words in later verses, and also by the Joseph Smith Translation, both of which help us to understand that the verse in Mark is talking about food... that what we eat can't defile us, but rather what we think, and do, and say.
This selection goes further, showing us that if we keep ourselves clean that things from without can't poison us, but that if we allow things into our hearts and minds that are bad, and we nourish them and let them grow... that doubt and hate and evil that we let in can indeed defile us, and corrupt even the way that we perceive the things around us.  And at that point, even things that are said or done in innocence can be interpreted in a corrupt way.  The whole idea of a "dirty mind" in a figurative, but very damaging sense.  It's not something that is funny or to be encouraged, but something that truly harms us, and the people around us.  We might not even realize it when we invite fear and doubt and disobedience into our minds and hearts, but they cloud our minds and our justifications start to look like truths... and then we start trying to talk others into our way of thinking.
Today, let's try to knock the cobwebs and corruption out of our brains.  Let's renew our efforts to repent and become pure, not just in actions, but in our thoughts and our conversation as well.  Let's rethink our position on anything where we deviate from God's opinion.  Let's stop justifying our own perspectives and actually try to understand God's perspective.  Let's pray for understanding and for purity.  As we do that, I think everything will start to look better, and we'll be way less paranoid and worried about life... because when we're pure, we won't be looking for impurity all around us.  We'll be paying attention to the good and the pure. :)  Maybe when we're less distracted by evil, we'll see more exciting possibilities for good.

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