Wednesday 13th February, 2019
Reference text: Mark 7:14-23
Mark 7:21,22 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:
The physiology of breathing involves two actions, ‘inspiration and expiration’ which we often refer to as breathing in and breathing out. In a normal state, inspiration is considered an active process and expiration, a passive one. Simply put, one should require little or no active effort to breath out. Hence, when breathing out becomes an active and laboured process, it is indicative that something is likely not right physiologically in the body.
Today’s text contains a rather long list of the bad things that can proceed from the heart of man and by all means, that list is ‘heavy duty’. The stuff contained on there are not the kind one just attempts for fun, they are serious actions that potentially lead to grave consequences. However, there is one thing that we notice from the vices presented on the list: none of the items listed is a passive action. They are things that happen with active engagement.
The very same requirements of active engagement are applicable to the positive virtues such as ‘truth, self control, goodness, kindness and so forth’. We may be of the view that these are fruits that ought to be borne because we belong to God, but without an active engagement in the process, we stand little chance of bearing any fruit.
Beloved, virtue and vice seem polar opposite, but to exhibit any, one has to be actively engaged. It therefore becomes a choice of which option one wants to stand for: so I ask ‘will you be active for virtue or for vice?’