And He said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts…” Mark 7:20-21
Whether the world is getting better or worse is up for debt for some. However there is no doubt regardless of which side of the argument you want to stand, there are plenty of things wrong in the world today. People often ask the question, WHY?
In Jesus’ day, the argument was also raging about what it is that makes a person bad. The religious people of that time period were adamant it was external things responsible for moral and spiritual corruption. They believed if proper care was taken to avoid the external things which were corrupt, it would bring about spiritual and moral purity.
Because of this way of thinking, they established elaborate codes of behavior, which brought about religious rituals designed to guarantee correct behavior leading to a sound society.
But then came Jesus and He challenged this long established viewpoint. He told the people they were not defiled by what they ate, but instead were defiled by what they say and do. This even confused His disciples, so they asked Him to privately explain further.
He explained food, which was an external source many believed defiled them, was taken in the mouth, passed through the stomach and then is expelled from the body. He told them it is not what goes in the body that defiles someone, but instead you are defiled by your thought life and what you say and do.
Jesus taught the ills of society are born in the human heart. In Mark 7:20-23 He stated,
“What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”
- A modern way of saying this might include:
- Watch your thoughts, they become words
- Watch your words, they become actions
- Watch your actions, they become habits
- Watch your habits, they become character
- Watch your character, it becomes your destiny
While many today blame various things in society for causing the problems we see in the world today, the truth of the matter is the heart is wicked and from there comes the evil in the world.
We can try to legislate morality, and we can try all the social programs, but it is only when humans are changed from the inside — out by the Spirit of God, we will see society change.
The only hope for the world is continually pressed down and pushed away from society by those who oppose the Gospel. Is it any wonder things never seem to change? WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS?