For it doesn’t go into their heart…(Mk 7:19).
Sometimes, I’ll allow a negative thought about someone to birth a message in my heart that leads me down a trail of destruction. I believe them to be selfish, prideful or something else. Therefore, whenever I think of this person or see them out the first thing that comes to mind is the thoughts I have allowed to sneak into my heart and take residency there. Thoughts saying they are of ill repute, selfish and the like.
In Mark 7 Jesus has a conversation with the Pharisees about ceremonial washings. He emphasizes to them that it is not what comes into a person that defiles them, but what comes out. More specifically, what comes out the heart.
There is a journey we walk every day from the head to the heart. A thought births its way into our minds and if we are not careful to take it captive before the Lord Jesus it travels its way down into our hearts. Any message that makes it way into our hearts that has not been placed before the Lordship of Christ is a dangerous message to hold fast to. Our biggest problem is not the ones we find with other people. It is our inability to see them with the grace of God.
What comes out of us are not encouraging words of life and peace. They are thoughts from the devil of hell himself, sent to kill, and destroy the unity of the body of Christ. A negative spirit has pervaded the church to bring disunity against her.
This disunity comes from my own heart that thinks poorly of Christ’s people because they are not like me. I have a problem when they don’t see the world through my eyes. Shamefully, this keeps me from loving them. Therefore, I have allowed grave sin to enter into my heart.
What we really need is not more people like us, but more grace for people not like us. Do not store up negative thoughts about your brothers and sisters in Christ, but let your heart be the place where you plant a vineyard of grace. Let the vine of your hearts rise up to Heaven with grace for one another in forgiveness and love. God will serve as the judge. Not us, even though our hearts tell us to. When we try to take the place of a judge, we have taken the seat of God to act as though our power has the ability to usher in the justice we believe we so rightfully deserve. This will never work. We cannot sit on His throne.
Bless and do not curse. Speak words of life and peace. Be the encourager that the body of Christ needs. Speak truth when needed, but not out of hatred. Do it out of a deep love for your brethren, in Jesus name.
Jesus, forgive me when I have thought poorly of people in your body. I am selfish. I am the one with the problem, not them. Forgive me when I lack grace and love for others. Grow my heart wide and deep in your church. May what comes out of my heart be what you have stored up in it, in Jesus name, Amen.