“Now you Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside you are full of extortion and wickedness. You fools! Did not he who made the outside make the inside also? (Luke 11:39-40)
How often do you take out time to examine what’s inside you? Every day, before stepping out of our homes, we perform certain rituals; we wash our bodies with soap and water, clean our mouth, apply perfumes, put on our best dresses to match the occasion that is taking us out and so on. We practically make frantic efforts each day to look good before others.
Dear friends, as much as we strive to look good by taking care of the outside (what people see), what efforts do we make towards cleansing our hearts so as to look good before God who alone sees what is inside? If we are to grow spiritually, we must examine our thoughts and cleanse ourselves of the following:
- Negative Thinking: Feeling that nothing ever works, expecting the worst to happen, and never seeing the brighter side. Negativity is a sign of faithlessness.
- Compulsive Thinking: Being worried and anxious for no reason. Inability to be quiet, inability to even pray well.
- Immoral Thinking: Accommodating the devil in our hearts through lust, indecent entertainment, cooking of lies, thinking up new strategies to defraud people.
- Ignorant Thinking: This represents the mind of one who never makes effort to learn, never reads books not to mention the Holy Bible. This kind of thinking is what St. Paul condemns in today’s first reading; some people were still stuck with the law many decades after Christ had risen, promoting circumcision instead of faith.
- Selfish Thinking: Inability to consider the good of others, thinking only of what you can gain from people rather than what you can do to make their lives better. As Jesus puts it: “full of extortion.”
- Wicked Thinking: Vengeful thoughts, or what Jesus refers to wickedness in today’s Gospel passage.
- Complaint Mentality: Constantly blaming everybody like Adam and Eve, pointing fingers, criticising everyone while refusing to do something yourself, feeling that one is perfect while everyone else is just not good enough.
These are just a few of the dirt we carry within us. If only we make efforts to clean our insides, we would not only live happier and healthier lives, God would be more pleased with us.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, teach me how to constantly clean what is inside me. Amen.
Bible Study: Galatians 5:1-6, Psalm 119:41-48 and Luke 11:37-41).