“Nothing outside a man can make him ‘unclean’ by going into him. Rather, it is what comes out of a man that makes him ‘unclean.’” Mark 7:15 (NIV).
Many of us spend copious amounts of energy and time researching and providing the best foods for our body. Putting the right food in our body means a healthy, life-giving output. That seems obvious.
But Jesus, challenged His listeners to think beyond this. Good food is helpful, but He draws our attention to something far weightier: defilement of the heart. Jesus spoke of what corrupts not the body, but the heart. That’s where our greatest efforts need to be focused. Our health and well-being is dependent upon what we feed our heart. For as Proverbs 23:7 says, ‘As a man thinks in his heart, so he is.’
Jesus tells us that words and deeds pollute a person, not food. Evil originates from inside a person. Coming out of a heart are evil schemes, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, treachery, debauchery, jealousy, slander, arrogance and recklessness. All these things emerge from within and constantly pollute a person.
For those of us who are trying new ways to improve the performance of our body through healthy eating and exercise regimes, great! But let’s consider how much energy we give to what really matters – the health of our heart. That’s what Jesus invites us to give greater attention and effort to.
‘Father, I have neglected to care for the health of my heart. The attitudes I harbor in my heart are what really matters to you. Show me what lies within that is not life giving and pleasing to you. Amen.’