We can only be defiled by the things that come from within!

Greetings to you, dear friends! Grace and peace to you from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ!We have been talking about different types of relationships. We said that relationships with people help us to see the true condition of our hearts and the things we need to work on. Through relationships we learn to love and respect each other, to sacrifice and die for our selfish ways.I would like to give you a simple example. Some people only think about themselves, but they are not aware of it. For example, there is a celebration in church and the time comes for people to have some refreshments. You know what sometimes happens? Some of the people are ready to eat everything on the table without thinking of others. In these situations it is easy to detect the levels of selfishness and self-love under the slogan of being a new creature!!!Apostle Paul rebuked the church in Corinth; some believers there were stuffing themselves during the feast of love, the communion, while others went home hungry. «Therefore when you come together in one place, it is not to eat the Lord’s Supper. For in eating, each one takes his own supper ahead of others; and one is hungry and another is drunk. What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you in this? I do not praise you» (1 Corinthians, 11: 20-22).Why do things like that have a place in church? Some people have not changed yet. They do not know they need to think about others and that they need to share with others. Imagine that some people act like that around their house: the wife goes hungry, because the husband eats everything before him. This person does not care about the needs of others because he is selfish.What about being short-tempered? Someone steps on your toes and you blow up! If you are short-tempered, God wants to change it. He will show you the condition of your heart through the relationships with people. When you are alone, you do not know that you have a problem with anger.If you lack patience, or if you are full of envy and can’t stand other people succeeding and having something you don’t have, but you do not see these faults, then the relationships with people will be the area where all these things will come out and become obvious. For example, you are friends with someone; God starts blessing and exalting him and suddenly the friendship is over. It was caused by your envy. Many people in the situation like that even start slandering their friends, saying that their life is wrong, that they compromise with the world etc. If there is envy in you, then it will show in your relationships with others.Also, the changes in us first are seen in our relationships with other people. If a person is changed then his attitude towards others changes. Such a person looks differently at people. A proud and haughty person looks at others ‘from above’. But God can change even that, if a person lets Him do it.Let’s look at the Holy Scripture and see how God changes us through relationships. It says in the Bible: «There is nothing that enters a man from outside which can defile him; but the things which come out of him, those are the things that defile a man» (Mark, 7:15). This verse reveals to us that it is not other people or their action that defile u s; it is what we have inside.Jesus also says: «When He had entered a house away from the crowd, His disciples asked Him concerning the parable. 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, because it does not enter his heart but his stomach, and is eliminated, thus purifying all foods?” And He said, „What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these things come from within and defile a man» (Mark, 7:17-23).When we talk about changes, we talk about the condition of one’s heart. What others do to us does not come from us; it is directed towards us to test the condition of our hearts. Our reaction to the actions of others and the outside pressure determine the content of our hearts. We can only be defiled by the things that come from within!«Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life» (Proverbs, 4:23). We will continue about it tomorrow!I wish you God’s abundant blessings!Pastor Rufus Ajiboye

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