10 And he called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand:
11 Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.
12 Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying?
13 But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up.
14 Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.
15 Then answered Peter and said unto him, Declare unto us this parable.
16 And Jesus said, Are ye also yet without understanding?
17 Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught?
18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.
19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:
20 These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.
I have made it a habit to not quote Christian scripture on this blog. I have a few reasons for this, among them:
- For those of you who happen to be Christians, you ought to be reading Scripture and getting from it all the good that in it lies. That’s not really a process that needs to involve me most of the time.
- Where scripture is powerful and the wording more than careful, saying the same things over and over tends not to produce the effect most folks desire. Put simply, people respond badly to folks saying the same things in the same way continually. That’s an unfortunate but true thing in my experience.
- Scripture is “designed” to be taken exegetically. That is to say, you really ought not take pieces out of the Bible and “feed them” to folks, as it was intended to be take as a whole, and not in bits.
For this post, I have chosen to “break my own rule” because, quite frankly, I’m unable to say this better.
I could try to “dumb it down,” by saying something like, “What goes in is absorbed by the body, or comes back out in some form. What comes out (in terms of ideas, concepts and other communication) shows what’s inside.” And that’s not terrible, but it doesn’t do the job as well as the “original.”
I well understand that Jesus expressed ideas that had been uttered well before His coming to Earth (speaking of the physical manifestation). I also “get” that in many instances, what He said directly parroted (by intent) the statements of others. Regardless, what was said here was pretty well put.
I would think it would be patently obvious how this relates to the subject at hand, but I’m aware that what seems plain to me, may not be so clear to others reading my blog. Because this is true, let me now try to explain.
When you post or repost or share something on Facebook—or frankly, any social media or any place else—people see what you say and more.
Those looking on don’t just see the text or image, they get a glimpse of the heart and mind posting or otherwise sharing what is put out there.
There are arguments in both “directions” as to whether or not this is a good thing. On the one hand, it exposes those who are probably not “worthy to be followed” as what they are. On the other hand, people decide that they like or should follow others without a real understanding who those others are and will often do so for prolonged periods of time without really considering who they are supporting.
There are a couple of things that make this worse:
- The absolutely huge amount of information the average person using the Internet “ingests” on a daily and ongoing basis. The term that I find most befitting is “information overload.”
- There are people out there who take absolute pleasure in molding that which is worthless or even harmful, into packages that seem attractive to the unaware and uninformed.
There’s another Biblical concept that comes into play as well, it is the idea of “coarse jesting.” Many people assume this only applies to that which is bawdy or lewd. I submit to you that this is not the case. People will see things said as jokes—things that are no more than random thoughts, with no intent that they be believed or followed—and “take them to heart.” This is particularly true if the one or ones bandying them about are folks they respect.
You’ll never hear me say, by way of example, “This politician can only be stopped by a bullet.” I won’t even use that expression in jest. The reason is simple, there are others looking on who will not realize that was what I was doing or who will think it a true and proper thing, even though I didn’t intend it in that way. Obviously, this is an extreme example, there are other things that have been said that seemed harmless to those saying or repeating them. Rest assured, they are not.
I’m quite sure there are those out there that will just “laugh what I’m saying off.” I’m sorry that’s the case, but equally aware it likely is. For those sufficiently open to heed what I’m trying to get across, I hope you will begin to ask yourself a simple question. That question would be, “Should I really post, share, or otherwise support the propagation of what I’m putting out there?” And this should apply “across the board.”
I have been “guilty of” posting frivolity on Facebook, and now and again; I will continue to do so. If I do though, count on me running it through a “core belief processor” before doing so.
I strongly advise you do likewise.
Okay, at my “limits,” as such, allow me to wish you the best of times, and thank you for reading.