Clean Hands and Clean Hearts
Posted: Friday, February 24
Verse of the day:
"It’s not what goes into your body that defiles you; you are defiled by what comes from your heart." (Mark 7:15 NLT)
This past autumn, my mom displayed her heroic fortitude by volunteering to watch our four kids for a week. She raised four kids herself so the concept isn’t foreign. Her memories, however, may be a little white-washed with time. After spending a week in Milwaukee, she quickly remembered that children can be . . . (and these are my words, not hers) . . . disgusting.
I wonder where the aversion comes from—the desire to bathe oneself in spaghetti rather than water. A few days after my mom left town, Paisley, our 3-year-old, requested to use the bathroom after bedtime. Five minutes passed. “Paisley! Go to bed.” “I can’t! GRANDMA SAYS I HAVE TO WASH MY HANDS.”
Imagine with me the most immaculate house. Shoes by the door. Plastic on the furniture. Hard surfaces wiped clean and the smell of bleach in the air. Any sign of living immediately erased by a spritz of Lysol.
And then . . . imagine sin sliding over the threshold. Greed stained across the carpet. Lust spewed into the air. Envy poured out across the kitchen floor. Pride smeared to the walls.
In Matthew 23, Jesus accuses the religious leaders of being whitewashed tombs—“beautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people’s bones and all sorts of impurity.” God encourages us to live healthy—to promote hygiene, but we can never promote the outward over the inward. Assess today the cleanliness of your heart. Is it pure? Is it beautiful?
Every time Paisley puts on new clothes or gets her hair styled, we always ask, “Paisley, what’s more important? A pretty face or a pretty heart?” “A pretty heart.” “Yes, that’s right . . . a pretty heart.”