There is a ton of discussion these days on the importance of healthy eating. What foods impact this, what foods impact that, if you have X you should eat Y, if you have Y you should eat Z. It is essential that we care for our physical temples so these type of conversations are necessary. However, we should place equal focus on what is coming out of our hearts.
Mark 7: 14-23
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 any man has ears to here let him 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.” 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.”
Merriam Webster online defines “defile” as to make unclean or impure, to dishonor. Therefore, while we spend time and energy on what we take into our bodies, let’s not forget that what comes out of out heart and minds is what can defile us personally. Our motives, our actions and how we “show up” in this world creates more risk of dishonoring ourselves than what we choose to eat.
I’m all for clean eating (in thoughts not in actions-LOL) but changing how we eat is not as complex as changing our minds and hearts. It takes:
- acknowledgement of thoughts and actions that are deemed evil as indicated in the scripture above
- discipline in what we allow in our minds
- laser focus on changing our hearts
- true repentance
- and a strong commitment to being and doing differently
If we spend time working on the quality of our hearts we can escape personal defilement.
So let’s give attention to our stomach and our hearts.