But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this is what defiles. (Matthew 15:18 NRSV)
Ostriches are very unusual birds. They're great big and tall, about eight feet tall. Unlike most birds, ostriches can't fly. Their wings are too small. But ostriches can run very fast. Sometimes, for no reason at all, the ostrich will start running around in a circle. Sounds silly, doesn't it?
There's something else ostriches do that is pretty unusual. They'll eat almost anything. Ostriches prefer to eat grass and fruit, but they'll also eat small rocks, pieces of glass, little mirrors, pieces of jewelry just about anything they can get in their mouth. And all these strange foods don't seem to hurt ostriches. They would be very bad for you and me, but they're not too bad for the ostrich.
We laugh at the ostrich for eating everything it sees, even things that are bad for it, but we are just as guilty of taking bad things into our lives. We may not put bad things in our mouth and eat them, but we still take in bad stuff. When we listen to gossip and bad language, we're taking in bad stuff through our ears. When we watch TV shows or movies that have a lot of meanness or bad stuff in them, then we're taking in bad things with our eyes. And when we let sin into our hearts, and don't try to stop it, then we're taking bad things into our hearts. We want to be very careful every day that we don't let bad things into our lives.
God of peace, help me to be discerning of what I bring into my life. Amen.
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