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A Lenten Journey of Release & Renewal (Day Eighteen)




Day Eighteen



Scripture: Mark 7:14-23

14 Then he called the crowd again and said to them, ‘Listen to me, all of you, and understand: 15 there is nothing outside a person that by going in can defile, but the things that come out are what defile.’ 17 When he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about the parable. 18 He said to them, ‘Then do you also fail to understand? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile, 19 since it enters, not the heart but the stomach, and goes out into the sewer?’ (Thus he declared all foods clean.) 20 And he said, ‘It is what comes out of a person that defiles. 21 For it is from within, from the human heart, that evil intentions come: fornication, theft, murder, 22 adultery, avarice, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, folly. 23 All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.’



Observation:




"There is nothing outside a person that by going in can defile, but the things that come out are what defile."


“We are what we eat.” For our well-being, it’s important to carefully discern what to eat every day. Recent studies show that food not only provides energy but is also an important factor for our moods (see the article HERE). It is because the food we eat directly affects our gut health and influences the production of neurotransmitters. Therefore, what comes inside of our body matters not only for our physical health but also for our mental well-being.


We are not just what we eat, however. We are social beings as well as spiritual beings. What we say and do to one another matters, perhaps more than what we eat in regards to defining who we are as human beings. Our experiences tell us how what comes out of us could build or destroy human relations and spiritual growth.


Jesus teaches his disciples that it is the human heart from which all kinds of evil intentions come. When the religious leaders in his time were obsessed with teaching how to keep outer liturgical cleanness before God, he emphasized how to keep one’s spirit clean by filtering what comes out of us. More important than discerning what enters my body is disciplining what emanates from it. We are defined by what comes out of us.


God, fill my heart with your love so that I may speak of your love every day.



Application:

  1. What are the top three most frequently used expressions in your daily life? What do those words say about who you are?

  2. How can we discipline what comes out of us?



Prayer / Reflection:

Song of Reflection: Give Me a Clean Heart












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