Today’s Gospel: Mark 7:14-23
“But what comes out of the man, that is what defiles him.” Mark 7:20
I live in an affluent town where a lot of women put great emphasis on outward appearances: looking fit and slim, wearing the right clothes, driving the right car, etc. One of these women is arrogant and mean. In subtle, passive-aggressive ways, she tries to make me feel inferior so she can feel superior.
The good new is, I’ve become friends with other moms in my town who care more about being good people than they do about making things look good. I feel blessed and grateful to have met them. But having that mean mom experience has me grouping women into the “us” and “them” categories.
There’s a great danger in living with this “us” and “them” approach. In a crazy, reverse-world way, I’m starting to assume that all those beautiful women are just as unkind and condescending as that mean mom, without taking the time to get to know them.
I am no better than the Pharisees and Scribes in Mark’s Gospel who judged the disciples by what and how they ate. Jesus clarified that “what comes out of the man, that is what defiles him.” Taking it a step further, what comes out of a person’s heart also defines her.
I wasn’t taking the time to get to know these beautiful women to see what comes out of their hearts. Instead, I was making myself feel just as superior as that mean mom by putting myself above them, assuming my heart was better than theirs. Shame on me!
Jesus didn’t come to challenge just the Scribes and the Pharisees. He came to challenge you and me too. I need to start listening to what He says, and remove the plank from my own eye before I judge the splinter in anyone else’s.
Is there someone I’ve judged before getting to know her?
God, please let me leave judgement to You. Help me to focus more on examining my own heart, than on drawing conclusions about anyone else’s.
Copyright 2018 Claire McGarry
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