Jesus said, “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these things come from within, and defile the man” (Mark 7:21-23). There is no question where sin originates (James 1:13-15). It is not with God, but from within the heart of man. There is nothing you will do without it being thought of first.
This message ruined the Pharisees efforts to make sure the outside as clean. Although there is good to personal hygiene and washing our hands to prevent the spread of bacteria, having our heart right every hour is the real need of our time.
The sin of the heart is such an important topic because the ability to reason, to understand, to think, to believe, to decide, to purpose, to love, to hate, and to hope develop in the heart. Therefore, we need to be careful of the direction which we allow our heart to take, because the heart determines the good or the bad we will do. “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil; for out the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh” (Luke 6:45).
For a heart to be good or evil, it is determined by the power of three principles. (1) The power of what we see and hear. What type of movies or programs we watch or the type of material we read motivates us to think a certain way. With so much corruption in the public eye, it is no surprise why hearts are set on evil. On the other hand, the person who hears and sees things that are honest, truthful, reliable, and good, he will be inspired to do good deeds. It was timely spoken in Psalm 119:10,11. “With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. Thy word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against thee.”
(2) The power of association. Why do people say, “You’re guilty by association”? It is obvious from scripture. People can “corrupt good morals” (1 Corinthians 15:33). Spending time with evil people is where you begin to mimic their ways. This is why the exhortation came to Ephesus, “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness” (Ephesians 5:11). It does not take a brain surgeon to understand that associating with spiritually minded people brings out the best in you. To achieve a good heart, a person needs the influence of those who are pure and good in heart.
(3) The power of exercise. No one can “read your mind”, but what often indicates the thoughts of the heart are your actions. As long as the heart is fed daily doses of lust and unholiness, it will continue to act upon those things. On the other side, people exercise themselves unto giving, kindness, and hospitality. WHY? Paul said it is because they feed their mind with things that are noble, just, pure, true, lovely, and of good report (Philippians 4:8). A mind fed with those things will “exercise thyself unto godliness. For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come” (1 Timothy 4:8). The price of exercising your heart toward corrupt ideals is the forfeit of a happy life and your soul in eternity. What it costs to have a good heart will never be regretted, because of the blessings here and in eternity. May God give us a diligent spirit to have good hearts…