There is nothing outside a person that by going in can defile

Now when the Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around him, they noticed that some of his disciples were eating with defiled hands, that is, without washing them. (For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, do not eat unless they thoroughly wash their hands, thus observing the tradition of the elders; and they do not eat anything from the market unless they wash it; and there are also many other traditions that they observe, the washing of cups, pots, and bronze kettles.) So the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, “Why do your disciples not live according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?” He said to them, “Isaiah prophesied rightly about you hypocrites, as it is written,

‘This people honors me with their lips,
    but their hearts are far from me;
in vain do they worship me,
    teaching human precepts as doctrines.’

You abandon the commandment of God and hold to human tradition.”

21 For it is from within, from the human heart, that evil intentions come: fornication, theft, murder, 22 adultery, avarice, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, folly. 23 All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”

14 Then he called the crowd again and said to them, “Listen to me, all of you, and understand: 15 there is nothing outside a person that by going in can defile, but the things that come out are what defile.”

Mark 7: 1-8, 14-15, 21-23


Ignore the things that befall you,
what people do to you—
these are nothing.
The Beloved really doesn’t believe
what they say about you.

Attend to what comes out of you:
is it love and honor
or something else,
self-regard or self-loathing,
loveliness or ugliness?

The Beloved has planted a beautiful rose in you,
and expects it to come up and blossom
even through the manure.

(Unfolding Light, July 31, 2018)

Visit Steve Garnaas-Holmes’ website for more inspiring texts.