“But what comes out of the man, that is what defiles him. From within the man, from his heart, come evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly. All these evils come from within and they defile.”
It can be quite difficult to admit, but for me, the external actions are much easier than internal conversion. Focusing on external actions, as I said yesterday, can be accomplished with willpower. Internal conversion, on the other hand, demands surrender to God’s will, acceptance of his grace, and the admission we cannot do this alone.
Paying attention to my attitudes, my internal thoughts, my desires, those things that often only God knows, those are the areas that pose the real challenge. But more than that, the belief I hold too often that I can do all of these things on my own, that is the fundamental problem. Much more helpful is when I can be like the apostle Peter when he recognizes the state in life when he says to Jesus, “Depart from me for I am a sinful man.”
Admitting our sin, accepting our powerlessness without God’s grace, these are not the things modern society holds up as values. These are signs of our weakness, not of the rugged individualism upon which this country was built. But this acceptance, this humility to allow God to be God is what leads to the quality relationship Jesus wants us to have.
And yet developing a trust in God, and fostering our dependance upon God for everything, even our existence, is the most important thing.
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