Here's the passage:
14 After He called the crowd to Him again, He began saying to them, "Listen to Me, all of you, and understand: 15 there is nothing outside the man which can defile him if it goes into him; but the things which proceed out of the man are what defile a man. [16 If anyone has hears to hear, let him hear.]" 17 When he had left the crowd and entered the house, His disciples questioned Him about the parable. 18 And He said to them, "Are you so lacking in understanding also? Do you not understand that whatever goes into the man from outside cannot defile him, 19 because it does not go into his heart, but into his stomach, and is eliminated?" (Thus He declared all food clean.) 20 And He was saying, "That which proceeds out of the man, that is what defiles the man. 21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceeds the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adultries, 22 deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. 23 All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man."
I don't know about you, but my heart is heavy after reading such a list. I tend to think I'm above such things. I don't steal. I don't commit adultery. I don't commit murder. But, what strikes me is that -- I AM capable of such things. It is included in the heart of man.
I think I once doubted that this was indeed true. That all humans are capable of all of these things. I would tend to write this off as just things that "bad" people do.
Then, I became a parent.
And, I know this won't come to a shock to any off you. It shouldn't have to me. But, my 6 month old is already showing signs of this sinful nature. Choosing to do that which he knows he shouldn't do.
We didn't teach him to do the "wrong" things. As verse 21 says, it came from within, out of the heart of men.
Then a few more thoughts came to mind. For instance, isn't that an excuse to go on doing whatever I feel like doing? It's in my nature. "May it never be!" Just like I hope that one day Myrick will choose the right course of action simply because it makes his parents happy, so I too should choose to do that which the Lord has instructed me, because He is much more worthy of obedience than any earthly parents.
I know that none of this is new to all the parents who read my blog. You're probably thinking, "yeah, been there, done that." But, it's both sobering and encouraging to me!
Encouraging because just like we will not leave Myrick to his own devises, God does not leave His children without direction.
Hope everyone has a great weekend!