From the Inside Out

March 27
Mark 7:14–23

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.
Illustration by Gustave Doré

Illustration by Gustave Doré

Often when we think about sin we think about externals. We consider sin to be when we actually do something. Many in Jesus’s day thought the same way. In particular, the religious leaders were known for this. Jesus’s harshest words were saved for the religious leaders of his day because while they were righteous in how they appeared and what they did, they were evil in their hearts. This is exactly what Jesus attacks in Mark 7:14–23. In Mark 7:20, Jesus says, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him.” Jesus then goes on to list a litany of sins that proceed from the heart. What is Jesus’s point? Sin is not just what we do. Sin is also about the attitude of our heart. For those who sin outwardly, their sin flows from their heart. For those who mask their sin by looking good and doing right, sin can still reside in their heart.

How is your heart? Perhaps you are living in outright sin, doing things you shouldn’t do. Or perhaps you are living the “right” way, but your heart is in a dangerous place. Your motives are impure. Your thoughts are sinful. Your attitude is ugly. When was the last time you honestly searched and assessed the health of your heart? Many of us refuse to go to that potentially dark place because it’s painful and messy. Nevertheless when you and I choose to journey to the dark section of our heart, we become aware of our sin. From this awareness and by the conviction of the Holy Spirit, we can repent of that sin and run to Jesus. How’s your heart?

Reflection

  1. How is your heart? Is their sin buried deep down that needs to be confessed and repented of?
  2. Are there sins you are committing outwardly that need to be repented of?
  3. Thank Jesus that he always offers forgiveness of our sin!