“He summoned the crowd again and said to them,
‘Hear me, all of you, and understand.
Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person;
but the things that come out from within are what defile.
From within people, from their hearts,
come evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder,
adultery, greed, malice, deceit,
licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly.
All these evils come from within and they defile.’”
How much money you make, what kind of clothes you wear, what kind of car you drive, how many followers you have on Instagram, where you live, where you went for you last vacation, what your title is, what degrees you have earned, what level of success you have achieved—these things may be significant accomplishments, reflect your talents and drive, and be recognized as gifts from God. They will not, however, get us to heaven nor do they indicate our value as a human beings. They may even become chains that bind us. We live in a world where image counts and status means something. I get that. When the image or status becomes more important than the reality of our hearts, however, we are trapped. Trapped on a treadmill of keeping up appearances, maintaining the outside as our inside crumbles.