For from within, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. All these vile things come from within; they are what defile you. —Mark 7:21-23
And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else. Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. —James 1:13-14
Whatever flows through the floodgates of our ears and eyes wind up in our brain. This is why we are to guard what we hear and see. Once these things are in our brain they can have a powerful impact as our attitudes and actions are determined by who we are on the inside. To show how this works I ask you to think back to a time when you were young when you were “hurt” by words or actions taken by another against you. See… it is still there. Maybe you have not thought about that for awhile, but the more you think about it now the more vivid the memory can become. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vx65zb8AQpo
A baby does not have all these inner evils mentioned above ready to burst for once the child is born. No, these are learned behaviors that our sinful nature gravitates toward. I once asked some 5 year olds if they ever lied. They all acknowledged they had. Then I told them the story about Pinocchio and how every time he lied his nose grew longer. One little girl immediately said, “Mr. White if my nose grew every time I lied my nose would be way out here” as she extended her arm as far as it could go. This is a 5 year old! Sin shows its ugliness early in a person’s life.
On the other end of the age spectrum— I was at the State Prison this past Saturday night. The prison exists because of the sinful nature of man that exists as in the verses stated above. Think of any crime committed and it is there at the State Prison. Yet, the Good News is that, whether young or old, a person can trust the Lord Jesus Christ and become a new creature in Christ (II Corinthians 5:17). I have recently heard a four year old say to me, “Mr. White I am trusting Jesus.” Saturday night 6 men followed the Lord in baptism, 4 more men trusted the Lord Jesus Christ and 3 other men indicated their desire to follow the Lord in baptism. Praise God that He is in the business of changing lives at any age!
Fellow follower of our Lord Jesus Christ, let us guard our hearts, become what He desires us to become and do what He desires us to do. Dear Father, may this be so in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus Your Son.