de·file - to corrupt the purity or perfection of
Doesn't sound pretty. Defilement. And yet we live in a constant state of it. We're always sullying ourselves and creating a mess out of things in our lives. True defilement comes straight from the heart. Our hearts are the manufacturers of all things evil: murder, adultery, theft, etc (Matthew 15:18-19). The Bible tells us in Jeremiah 17:9 that the heart is the most deceitful thing in this world. Most of the time, our hearts are straight-up rotten to the core. We allow so much to build up in them—resentment, aggression, arrogance—we leave no room for the love of each other that they are meant to hold (Mark 12:31).
It seems as if some people think that they can fake having a pure heart. We all know someone like this, someone that pretends they are the most humble, genuine Christian out there; when in reality they have more bitterness stored up than a whole box of grapefruits. The problem with secret sin is this: it's really not a secret. God knows the hearts of men (1 Samuel 16:7). Nobody can sneak anything past Him. There's no wool over His eyes.
The worst thing about this sin of the heart is that God can not endure having anything so defiled in His presence. Only those with a pure heart may enter the Kingdom of God (Revelation 21:27). The good news is that Jesus can wash our hearts so that they are white as snow (Isaiah 1:18). But afterward we need to be careful. Careful not to allow evil thoughts to continue to control our hearts. These things will only serve to hurt us in the long run. I mean, really. Having a vendetta against someone who rained on your parade years ago is doing no harm to them. It is only hardening and suffocating your own heart.
Constantly surrendering yourself to the Will of God and pursuing His desires is the best bet for keeping away from a dirty, stinky heart. In Matthew 5, those with a pure heart are called blessed. I don't know about you, but I'd like to be blessed in the eyes of the Lord of the universe!
Psalm 51:10 needs to be my daily prayer: Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Had to try out the new tag, woot! ;-P