How ironic that after Tuesday’s blog, Cat Fights & Conflicts, our local newspaper, the Johnson City Press, would carry the following headlines later on in the day–Bombing Attempt: Deputies say Jonesborough man tried to kill with homemade device. The first paragraph of the story began, “A long-standing feud between two Jonesborough families boiled over earlier this month after a man threw a homemade explosive device into an occupied residence, according to court records.” A long-standing feud between two families. How sad. Where did it come from? What’s the source of this feud? Jesus answers this question in a conversation with His disciples as recorded in Mark 7:17-22.
When He had entered a house away from the crowd, His disciples asked Him concerning the parable. 18 So He said to them, “Are you thus without understanding also? Do you not perceive that whatever enters a man from outside cannot defile him, 19 because it does not enter his heart but his stomach, and is eliminated, thus purifying all foods?”[g] 20 And He said, “What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. 21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 22 thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within and defile a man.”
When we follow our heart, see what comes out? Nowhere in Scripture am I exhorted to follow my heart, but I am exhorted to follow Christ. As you can see from the Mark passage, following the dictates of my heart leads to sorrow, shame, and sin. When I turn my life, my heart over to Jesus Christ and follow Him as my Lord and Savior (Romans 10:9-13), since He is Truth (John 14:6), then I can respond and walk in the truth; I can count on the Truth leading me (Psalm 23:1-4; John 16:113-15); I can trust Him when my heart wants to go its own way because as for God, His way is perfect (Psalm 18:30); I can then know true delight and life (Psalm 37:4-7a).
So, if your heart wants to “bomb” someone, mortify the flesh (Romans 6) by surrendering to the Truth that will set you free, guide your steps right, and turn your heart toward Christ.