Mark 7:15

15 Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles them.”

Jesus was addressing a diverse crowd, many of whom were really concerned about following ritual laws and not eating anything unclean. Jesus stressed, “Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person; but the things that come out from within are what defile.” In other words, we should not be so concerned about the food that we are eating; we should be concerned about what is coming out from our hearts and minds.

Something I have noticed is I have been using the words, “have to”. I have to go to work today. I have to lead a small group. I have to drive to work. I have to pay the bills. Our words reinforce either a positive or negative perspective. Our words subtly echo the story we tell ourselves every single day. After a while we begin to believe it.

My life dramatically changed when I began changing “have to” into “get to” I get to go to work! I get to lead a group of my friends closer to Jesus. I get to drive to work because I have a car! I get to pay the bills! That one is still tough for me. Have to – frames things in a way that says I am obligated or required. Mostly negative. Get to – frames it more from a sense of gratitude and appreciation. Mostly positive.

When we bring these words over to our walk with Jesus, I think it can change how we look at Jesus, others, and even yourself. I get to follow Jesus. I get to read the Bible. I get to worship and go to church. I get to talk with others about Jesus. I get to lead little ones closer to Jesus. I don’t have to, I get to.

Matthew Kelly says, “Thoughts become choices, choices become actions, actions become habits, habits become character, and your character is your destiny.” Life is a gift, a gift that is much more enjoyable when we choose to see it that way.

What can I say, “I get to” for?

Am I a get to or have to person?

Dear Lord, change our thoughts and shift them towards a thankful mindset. You were always thankful no matter what trials you went through. We thank you for leading us well. Amen.

Have a great weekend!

C. Lyman


  1. Good point. I have also heard the Ten Commandments rephrased from “Thou shalt not” to “You don’t have to.” You don’t have to have any other gods. (The LORD is sufficient) You don’t have to covet, because He gives contentment. You don’t have to steal, because He supplies your needs, etc. (Don’t misunderstand. I’m not advocating rewriting Scripture! This is just a method of meditating on the Ten Commandments, seeing them as privileges.)

    Liked by 1 person

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