“For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts,”

Mar 7:1 — Mar 7:23

Defilement Comes from Within
(Matt. 15:1–20)

Then the Pharisees and some of the scribes came together to Him, having come from Jerusalem. Now when they saw some of His disciples eat bread with defiled, that is, with unwashed hands, they found fault. For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands in a special way, holding the tradition of the elders. When they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash. And there are many other things which they have received and hold, like the washing of cups, pitchers, copper vessels, and couches.
Then the Pharisees and scribes asked Him, “Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashed hands?”
He answered and said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written:
This people honors Me with their lips,
But their heart is far from Me.
And in vain they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’
For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men—the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do.”
He said to them, “All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition. For Moses said, Honor your father and your mother’; and, He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’ But you say, ‘If a man says to his father or mother, “Whatever profit you might have received from me is Corban”—’ (that is, a gift to God), then you no longer let him do anything for his father or his mother, making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do.”

When He had called all the multitude to Himself, He said to them, “Hear Me, everyone, and understand: There is nothing that enters a man from outside which can defile him; but the things which come out of him, those are the things that defile a man. If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear!”

When He had entered a house away from the crowd, His disciples asked Him concerning the parable. So He said to them, “Are you thus without understanding also? Do you not perceive that whatever enters a man from outside cannot defile him, because it does not enter his heart but his stomach, and is eliminated, thus purifying all foods?” And He said, “What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man.”

It is sad as it may be you are your own worst enemy and I am mine. At the same time, we can partner with God and allow Him to be our best friend. By His help, our new inner man has the power to control the old fleshly inner man. Perhaps not control him 100% of the time but enough to keep him in the shadows. We can’t kill him but we strengthen the new so the old becomes weaker and becomes mostly atrophied. No one on this side of heaven is sinless but we can sin less. Often time as we grow closer to God we sense our sin more, at least we should, so it seems bigger but we need to hold it in perspective.

The most effective means of winning the battle is to ‘think on these things’ which are pure and good while practicing the spiritual disciplines such as prayer, Bible reading, meditation on Godly stuff, and fasting. We decrease and allow God’s influence to increase, this is abiding.

Exhalting self through our innate pride is an addiction. The first step to overcome any addiction is the realization of the problem. The second is to extract it while back filling it with a greater good. Then, we need to maintain by focusing on the true and great benefits of the new good habit. After a few weeks or months, it become our 2nd nature.

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