The influence of the environment on the human heart

The 15th of October is the day when all bloggers are urged on being solidary and sending an important message to the world. The subject of the message from this year is “The protection of the environment”. I want to present in my article what effect has the environment upon our hearts.

The Holy Scriptures relates us the next case from the life of Jesus Christ and His disciples:

Then some Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, ”Why do Your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.” And He answered and said to them, “Why do you yourselves transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? ”For God said, ‘HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER,’ and, ‘HE WHO SPEAKS EVIL OF FATHER OR MOTHER IS TO BE PUT TO DEATH.’ ”But you say, ‘Whoever says to his father or mother, “Whatever I have that would help you has been given to God,” he is not to honor his father or his mother.’ And by this you invalidated the word of God for the sake of your tradition. ”You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you: ’THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS, BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME. BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME, TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.’ (Matthew 15:1–9)(NASB)

Immediately after this dispute with the scribes and Pharisees…

After Jesus called the crowd to Him, He said to them, “Hear and understand. “It is not what enters into the mouth that defiles the man, but what proceeds out of the mouth, this defiles the man.” (Matthew 15:10–11)

Because they did not understand what Jesus meant by saying this phrase, the disciples came to Him and…

Peter said to Him, “Explain the parable to us.” Jesus said, “Are you still lacking in understanding also? ”Do you not understand that everything that goes into the mouth passes into the stomach, and is eliminated? ”But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders. These are the things which defile the man; but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile the man.” (Matthew 15:15–20)(NASB)

The Lord Jesus didn’t want to say that we don’t have to wash our hands before eating, the thing that the Pharisees upraised to a religion matter and were ready to judge a man only because that one hadn’t washed hid hands. The Savior wanted to take the attention from the material things and to show that there are other things of spiritual nature, that defile a man and affect his life on this earth and the one from eternity. The Lord Jesus Christ also added that these things come from a man’s heart and defile him. But, before they come out of the heart, the have entered in the heart. Saint James, the author of the epistle that has his name, said in this respect so:

And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell. (James 3:6)(NASB)

There is a valley near Jerusalem, named the valley Ben Hinom. This valley was cursed because of the idolatry that had been practiced abundantly formerly and in the time of Jesus Christ this was the rubbish of Jerusalem. Because there were brought all the rubbish and muck of the animals from the city, there was a permanent slow oxidation and it was smoking. There were loitering dogs and a bad smell. Most often the Lord Jesus used this image  of the rubbish near Jerusalem to show the reality about the life after death of those who hadn’t repented. James used the image of the rubbish from the valley Ben Hinom (Gehenna) to show how the heart of the man becomes affected by all the spiritual rubbish of this world, then it affects the tongue, that is the speech and in this way it sets on fire the course of life.

While all states, governs and many organizations are concerned about the protection of the environment, it is given so little, or in fact none attention to the spiritual rubbish that surrounds us and that affects people gravely, it hurts and destroys their lives. Newspapers and magazines where the immorality is promoted directly or subtly, movies where immorality and infidelity is presented as being “romantic”, advertising panels through which the authorities of our city decided to add to the spiritual Gheena of the city. All these affect the hearts of  people gravely. A recent example is the 15 years old boy who paid 4000$ to a killer to kill his parents. Where does this crime come in his heart from? From the spiritual rubbish that is around us and that works and spreads death and distruction by all means. The wise Solomon wrote in the book of Proverbs:

 Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life. (Proverbs 4:23)(NASB)

There are so many bad things around us, in the environment, that affect the heart gravely, that affect our thinking. How to protect and clean the heart of these bad influences? God gave the answer through the mouth of king David, who said:

Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You. (Psalm 119:11)(NASB)

You can start today to study the Holy Scriptures and in this way, to treasure in your heart the truth of the Word of God, who can clean and protect your heart, that is thinking, of the spiritual rubbish of this world. Protect and watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life!

Translated by Djugostran Felicia