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Healthy Hearts

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And he called the people to him again and said to them, “Hear me, all of you, and understand: There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him.” And when he had entered the house and left the people, his disciples asked him about the parable. And he said to them, “Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?” (Thus he declared all foods clean.) 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, 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.”

Mark 7:14-23

In this passage we see that Christ is challenging the idea of dietary uncleanness within Israel. He uses the biological process He created as an illustration for teaching. Food goes into your stomach, is processed, and then expelled. By highlighting this process Jesus is showing that it is not food which defiles a person but their hearts. What goes into you isn’t defiling, what comes out of your heart is.

Christ says that it is what comes out of our hearts that matters. The thing that reveals what we are consuming in our hearts is what we are producing from them. Good goes in and good comes out or evil goes in and evil goes out. Sometimes we receive evil things and, through God’s processes in our hearts, He is able to make good come out. A healthy heart is revealed by its output. We are known by our fruit. As we go into fall, a time of harvest, I wonder what kind of fruit is being produced in our hearts and what bounty the Lord will gather in us.