For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, sexual immorality, thefts, false witness, slanders. These are the things which defile the man; but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile the man.
It is a simple matter to get caught up in what we think is right. There was a shooting at a community college last week and everyone is running around spouting what they think will solve the problem. Some propound stricter gun control laws. Some advocate arming the citizenry. Others, rightly, point out that neither of these really solves the problem. Jesus reminds us that the problem is the heart.
It is out of the heart that murders come. The shooter — who shall remain nameless in my mind for all eternity — drew murder from the heart. It was in the shooter’s heart to murder. Had there been no guns available, then still would the murder have taken place. It would have been a bombing or a stabbing or a bunch of people bludgeoned to death with rocks as Cain did to Abel. The problem is not the weapons but the hands that wield them.
The SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States) ruled this year that homosexual marriage is legal; that people engaged in a sinful practice have a fundamental right to be married. There are plenty of sinful practices that are legal in these United States, so this does not surprise me all that much. However, the problem is not one that can be solved by legislation. Christians tried to push for homosexual marriage to remain illegal, as it had been for generations — even the ancient Greeks and Romans, who thought homosexuality perfectly normal, did not permit marriage of homosexuals — but to no avail. The reason? The heart of the nation, and more directly of the judges sitting on the SCOTUS, are permissive toward this sinful practice. It is out of the heart that proceed sexual immoralities.
If I want the world to change, let me begin with the part of the world over which I have control: me. Let me be on my knees — metaphorically and literally — before God, asking Him to change me; to make me like Him; to purge the evil from my heart that I might be a walking, talking, breathing example of what God wants for everyone. My heart must be made right. Nothing else will do.
Father God, please purge my heart. I know that it is from the wickedness therein that my sin proceeds — my lies and anger and lustful thoughts and everything that is not right in me. Please remove these things from me and replace them with Yourself and Your Truth and peace and love and all that is right and good. Please conform me to the image of Your Son that I might be Your child in truth.