Foolish Things Christians Believe: My Behavior Is Not Fixed Day 2
Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is expelled? But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone. Matthew 15:17–20 ESV
What’s our culture’s perspective on personal change? The self-help category in libraries and bookstores, not to mention the shares that pop up on Facebook, should make you think everyone is convinced changing something about yourself is a good idea and readily available. Set up your goals, stick to the plan and presto chango! Or better yet, find a hack!
Yet what everyone knows is that their latest diet fad ended in a bag of Cheetos. Determination to not yell at the kids, stay faithful to the spouse, drive the speed limit all ends in flames. The unspoken truth is that true change is impossible and in fact suspect if seen in someone’s life.
Jesus would agree. He tells his disciples the path to godliness is not rules to follow, like the diet driven Pharisees. The real problem is the heart, the words and attitudes that spout division and hate and falsified superiority. Sinfulness must be removed, not improved with a coat of fresh effort.
When we follow Jesus we find an awesome truth. God is more powerful than we are. He wants to restore us to the sanity of a new heart. Scroll through your social media or news feeds or blogs or cable stations and observe the empty search for improvement without God. Feel God’s restlessness to change hearts. Ask to be sent as a messenger with Good News.
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