Psalm 80; Neh. 9:1-25; Rev. 18:1-8; Matt. 15:1-20
It’s what comes out of us, not what goes in, which defiles. I may not have had the perfect childhood (I didn’t, but perfect isn’t real, and mine was pretty sweet overall), I may not have had all the breaks and opportunities my neighbor got (I’m a white middle-class male–I got more breaks and opportunities than many of my neighbors, but this is rhetorical speak, follow along), I may have been done dirt here and left behind there. Those circumstances, however, don’t define me. It’s what comes out of me–patience or demand, anger or joy, forgiveness or resentment, all of them choices I make consciously or unconsciously–that elevates or diminishes me and my world.
Choose, friends. Choose life. Choose joy. Choose to put down the heavy burdens of guilt and shame and grudge which weigh you down so you can’t hardly move at all. Choose. Because even though circumstances may not have been as kind and gentle to you as you’d wish, how you live your life is still completely up to you. Or we can spend our lives relitigating the dirt that was done to us 38 years ago by people whom we no longer even know a working address for. Choose to let faith, hope and love be the product your heart pumps out into a thirsty world.