My Dad was a salesman. He worked long retail hours, including most weekends. He gave us kids many gifts by his example and in particular persistence and optimism stuck me. He was the master of motivational quotes. I have a few dozen that are permanently stuck to my brain.
Earl Nightingale was one of my Dad’s go-to guys for quotes. I know little about Earl Nightingale other than my memory of my Dad playing motivational cassette tapes such as The Strangest Secret. Somehow these lessons of personal development by my Dad (and Earl) seeped into my subconscious because I continue my journey of personal development.
You can read some of Earl’s famous quotes. Go ahead. I’ll wait for you to come back. One that sticks out is: “What’s going on in the inside shows on the outside.” Apparently, Earl was a student of the Gospel because Jesus delivered the same message in today’s reading from Mark. Jesus preached to a crowd and told them:
“Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person;
but the things that come out from within are what defile.”
When I allow that to sink in, I must agree. When I defiled (x), I most often used harsh words of judgement. I did not recognize that I am the source; instead I blamed others and circumstances to justify my judgments. As I learned to quiet these thoughts through countless hours of self-reflection, reading, counseling, and prayer I realized that I inflict spiritual damage on others and myself. It was horrible.
Jesus does a better job to explain the consequences of a poisoned heart:
“But what comes out of the man, that is what defiles him.
From within the man, from his heart,
come evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder,
adultery, greed, malice, deceit,
licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly.
All these evils come from within and they defile.”
In the moments when from my heart “come evil thoughts” such as the 13 listed by Jesus, I learn to recognize the symptoms in my behaviors. For example, racing thoughts, harshness of my voice, impatience, internal turmoil and drama, restless sleep I now recognize that my spirit is telling me that it’s hungry. It’s starving for solace and prayer. It’s starving to be reconnected to God.
Thanks be to God that my spirit healed. My moments of “evil thoughts” are infrequent. Now, days pass in-between them; when in the past, I would be fortunate to last a couple of hours. I am a testament that prayer works. Allow me to pray for you sisters and brothers – especially if you struggle against an evil internal voice.
You might also like these related posts from cinhosa:
Today we remember Saint Josephine Bakhita
- Jesus, come in to my heart and suppress the evil that would defile me… (catholicjournaling.wordpress.com)
- A Heart Problem (meditateonthelord.org)
- Badly abused and mistreated in life, St. Josephine Bakhita can show you how to feel known, loved, and awaited by the Father (dawneden.blogspot.com)
- Nightingale Conant Celebrates 50 Years of Providing Ideas That Has Helped Create Countless Success Super Stars (prweb.com)