Defiled and Defiling

Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person; but the things that come out from within are what defile. Mark 7:15

This morning I got tired of listening to the whining and silly crying of my younger daughter, Bless. I scolded her in front of breakfast. She was crying about not wanting the clothes she was wearing. She was complaining about her sister agreeing with her mother’s opinion on her clothes. She was whining about being late and miss her school bus that she left out her winter clothing like her head cover. I shouted to her and her mother just to let her see how cold it is outside without having a head cover. She left our house crying but made it to the school bus. In the afternoon, she called me on the phone to tell me they were home from school. I asked her why she was crying and whining in the past days. She answered me, “I was thinking nobody wanted me that’s why I cry.” It came to me like a Pacquiao punch. I was scolding her and was shouting at her that made her feel that way. I was making her insignificant in her own understanding.

Do not get me wrong. There is nothing bad about giving correction, as long as the act comes with love. But when it is done in a manner of distress and impatience, the person correcting is defiled and the person being corrected is defiled, too.  After I let my anger out, I felt very bad. I felt like I was a hard father to his children. I felt like I was putting on my child my stress from work or from somewhere else. On the other hand my child felt bad, too. She went to school with a bad beginning. She came to her class feeling no class at all. She sat in her room with her classmates but felt alone and unwanted. Jesus is right. Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person; but the things that come out from within are what defile (Mark 7:15). Since I let out what is within me, I was defiled. In turn, I defiled my child.

Today, God gave me an important lesson. Instead of watching my kids whining and crying, I should watch my heart. Instead of being occupied with the negative around me, I should be mindful of the negative within me. To focus on what I can change within me and not on what I can change around me. If not, my words and actions would make me defiled and can make me defiling.

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