Mark 7:14, 15 Jesus called the crowd together again and said, “Listen now, all of you— take this to heart. It’s not what you swallow that pollutes your life; it’s what you vomit—that’s the real pollution.” (The Message Bible)
The religious folks in Jesus’ day had strict rules on what could be eaten and how, when and where. They were angry with Jesus because he didn’t show the same concerns. There is a lot of marketing today centering on why certain products are better for you to eat than others (or at least less harmful). We ought to pay attention to what we put into our bodies. But the impact of our lives will have less to do with our physical condition than with the state of our heart. No matter how careful you are, your body will grow old and deteriorate. We had a memorial service for a wonderful woman from our church this past weekend. She had lived to the age of 102 and really up to the age of 100 she was in remarkably good shape, still enjoying life. But whether you die earlier or later your body peaks out in your twenties and thirties and goes downhill from there. However, what comes out of your heart, particularly as it is reflected in your words, will resonate through people’s lives for generations, often with consequences you could never predict. There is a great deal of negativity and hostility “vomited” into the world these days, particularly in an election year. The Facebook post from my friends, people who are normally decent, caring people, express some pretty nasty stuff, some against the right and some against the left. Being mean works to a substantial extent when it comes to influence in politics. But it goes to show that we all have deep infections inside that will come out if the right stimulus is applied. We need healed of this, Jesus claims, more than we need the right food. We will be remembered more for what comes out of us than what went into us. We need redeemed from the inside out and that is what Jesus said he was all about. What is coming out of you these days? What needs healed inside? Will you open that to God this week?