THE WARMTH OF XENIA

Xenia (Greek: ξενία) is the ancient Greek sacred rule of hospitality (corresponding to the Latin concept of Hospitium), the generosity and courtesy shown to those who are far from home or associates of the host. The rituals of hospitality created and expressed a reciprocal relationship between guest and host expressed in both material benefits (e.g. gifts, protection, shelter) as well as non-material ones (e.g. favors, certain normative rights). The term is often translated as “Guest-Friendship” or (“Ritualized Friendship”) because the rituals of hospitality created and expressed a reciprocal relationship between guest and host. Hence, it is also known as “Guest-Friend”.

One of the prime motivations of living an itinerant lifestyle is the warmth of xenia. The veracity of xenia is, it never appears in the same way. It has its unique appearance in every home. It’s been more than a year yet the warmth of Xenia in my first visit to Shillong is so tangible! Whether it is about the caring nature of my cab driver Mr. Naresh after my arrival at Guwahati Airport and at midnight waiting almost an hour for someone to receive me at Shillong or at my departure from Shillong, the warmth of Xenia wrapped in that tiffin box given by Dr. Aunty Veera & Uncle Lumlang, each of those tiny days, small incidents, casual friendly talks, and good-bye hugs have enabled me to bag what is the love of hospitality.

“Love cannot remain by itself – it has no meaning.

Love has to be put into action and that action is service”. (Mother Teresa)

Action is the tangible output that is primarily sourced by Love. LOVE PRECEDES ACTION. It is the sacred love for others in our heart that convinces our mind to go an extra-mile, which reflects in Xenia. Often, we consider love as an emotion whereas love is chiefly an action word. And the Bible puts it like this,

“Love is Patient and Kind. Love is Admiring. Love is Cordial, Love is Forgiving.

Love rejoices in justice. Love is consistent, Love has faith, Love is Hopeful,

and Love endures through every circumstance.

Three things last forever – Faith, Hope, and Love –

and the greatest of these is Love”

A few years back, for an official purpose, I had my first visit to Kandhamal, one of the remote places in the state of Odisha. By the time, I reached there it was midnight, there was no mobile network, and unknown to me a couple of hours prior to my arrival the local govt. authorities declared that area as “no activity zone during the night” due to Mao’s activity. As I left the bus and was making mind to wait till the sunlight suddenly, I saw a man on a bike from the dark forest road asking, “Are you Avinash?” Thank God, it was none other than that good godly man whom I was looking for. Later I realized he had to sacrifice his whole night rest and risk his life just to receive me.

Someone penned rightly,

“People will forget what you said, forget what you did,

but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

A guest is mostly at a strange place and is aloof to our culture. Making mistakes and putting the host in a problem is not their intent rather it is the output of their mere ignorance. Excusing their flaws and giving them comfort is only possible when we shift our perspective and pose ourselves WEARING THEIR SHOES.

A tale goes like this;

In a small-town, a poor man always begged at a rich man’s palace gate and the rich man always treated him just like dogs. He threw morsel at him and mocked him. Unfortunately, both the rich man and the poor man died on the same day. The rich man went to hell and the poor man went to heaven. From hell, the rich man cried out to God,

Richman: God, it’s too painful here, it’s unbearable. Could you please take me to heaven? Why did you put me in hell, what I have done?

God said, I visited you but you treated me like your dogs and threw morsels at me. You mocked my condition.

Richman: God, when did I do that to you?

God: I visited you through the poor man. And you did that to me all that you have done to the poor man.

The Bible says,

“Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins. Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay. Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some WHO HAVE DONE THIS HAVE ENTERTAINED ANGELS without realizing it!”  

HOW LOVE & JUSTICE WALK TOGETHER

One of the most used YET less understood word is LOVE. Probably, that’s the reason each of us has our own definition of love! Whereas it is the power of love that brought us into existence, it is the warmth of that love that made us feel secure when our mom for the first time put her arm upon us and we stopped crying, it is the language of love that we first learned, and it is the love we witness at the death bed of our dear ones. Moreover, it is the legacy of love that is indomitable and immortal. And explaining love the Bible says,

The greatest of all characters is LOVE.

Once two prostitutes came to king Solomon to have an argument settled. One of them said, “this woman and I live in the same house. I gave birth to a baby while she was with me in the house. Three days later this woman also had a baby. We were alone; there were only two of us in the house. But her baby died during the night when she rolled over on it. Then she got up in the night and took my son from beside me while I was asleep. She laid her dead child in my arms and took mine to sleep beside her. And when I tried to nurse my son, he was dead! But when I looked more closely in the morning light, I saw that it wasn’t my son at all”. Then the other woman interrupted, “it certainly was your son, and the living child is mine”. ”No”, the first woman said, “the living child is mine, and the dead one is yours.” And so, they argued back and forth before the king. Then the king said, “Let’s get the facts straight. Both of you claim the living child is yours, and each says that the dead one belongs to the other. All right, bring me a sword.” As the sword was brought to the king, he said, “Cut the living child in two, and give half to one woman and half to the other!” Then the woman who was the real mother of the living child, and who loved him very much, cried out, “Oh no, my lord! Give her the child – please do not kill him!” But the other woman said, “All right, he will be neither yours nor mine; divide him between us. Then the king said, “Do not kill the child, but give him to the woman who wants him to live, for she is his mother!” And justice was established.

LOVE & JUSTICE GOES HAND-IN-HAND. As a child, I always complained if my father loves me how can he punish me? If he loves me, doesn’t he realize the pain of punishment? But as I grew up, I learned “Love is not in the absence of Judgment but in the very presence of it.”

TO ESTABLISH JUSTICE, LOVE HAS TO BE SACRIFICIAL. It is only the love for the child that gave courage to the real mother to give away her child to the other woman instead of dividing the child into two. Love cannot be understood without understanding the value of life.”

TO ESTABLISH JUSTICE, LOVE EXPOSES THE TRUTH. While in prison as the last wish before his execution the son demanded to meet his mother. As his mother comes closer, he whispered to her, I wish if you have scolded me that day when I brought the stolen pencils and chalks from the classroom, I won’t have ended up like this today. The story is so evidential to learn Whoever loves us they never pamper our lie rather they expose it.”

TO ESTABLISH JUSTICE, LOVE HAS TO BE SACRED. For example, involving in sex before and beyond marital boundaries seizes the sacredness of the marriage bed and is an injustice to the spouse. Sacredness is the epitome of justice. Compromising sacredness fails justice. “Sacredness in love is justice to one another.”

LOVE & JUSTICE BRINGS LIFE. From an in-depth study, the child was treated as a mere product until the sword entered the judgment room and the child’s life came to risk. As the sword was about to come out of the scabbard, love took the screen. And it is because of love, truth enfolded and justice was established. That’s why Gandhiji said, “Where there is LOVE, there is life”.      

LOVE STORY BETWEEN HE, SHE AND THE SCENE-STEALER.

Love is an Expensive Trap. 😜

Being a fresh collegian, he always believed love is an expensive trap. Why waste your day just because your partner isn’t in a good mood or has some personal tension. Whereas he had no clue that just in a couple of years gap, one day at a time he will be the prey of that expensive trap.

Falling in Love is Emotionally Upheaval. 😄

It was in a student meeting of an inter-college camp he first saw her but being lost in his world he didn’t notice her much that day. A couple of weeks later the preparation for the inter-college camp started and there they became casual friends. As the preparation was of a week-long routine they meet daily. It was his first feeling of being close enough to a girl and there he got the new naïve emotional upheaving for a particular girl. The romantic vibes were slowly peeping into them and the desire of being together become more tangible. Somewhere the subconscious mind started humming the romantic songs of the 90s. Deep inside both of them desired to seat close enough and the break hours felt the two free birds flying together in an endless blue sky. The search for excuses for the random long talk was visible to others and they became the last people return from break. Even in practice time being lost in their world, they started sharing headphones and listening to the afternoon love songs streamed by the Radio FM Radio Chocolate. It was for the first time; he sent an SMS request to Radio FM and dedicated his favourite song from the Bollywood movie Mann for her. Though the rest of the campmates started teasing them but all they excused “It’s Just Friendship”.

She loved to listen to him and He loved to tell her.🥰

It was that fine early December winter morning the camp began. It was like the day they waited for, the more they were approaching their city junction the more they felt the speed of time is too slow. They meet and their two glowing smiling faces were too loudly saying, ‘It was a too-long night, I was just waiting for you.’ Likely getting a golden opportunity, due to some technical issues the camp started too late and he seized the opportunity to unfold his life story in tits and bits. She loved to listen to him and he loved to tell her. Somehow, someway that day passed by too early and the time to depart was at the door. He left her whispering, tonight I will be in my auntie’s home so give me a missed call once you reach home. All night he was just rewinding the whole day and talks and looks they had. As the clock belled 10 AM, he sneaked to the terrace since it was the perfect time to phone her as she will be in college and they had more than an hour conversation on phone. At every quarter, there was either a call or a chat. The very next day was their first date.

That fine January winter evening.

Understanding both of their strong feelings for each other, on his birthday his cousin demanded both for a gift and the demand was “PROPOSE EACH OTHER”. Almost after a month, one fine winter evening they proposed to each other.

It’s time for the twists and turns.

Gradually dating and hanging-out happened regularly. As someone rightly said, in small towns love stories aren’t easy to hide. As a defense it is said, don’t act like a cat thinking no one can see you stealing the milk. As his parents strongly opposed them, the twists and turns appeared. Amidst long years of frequent unpleasant situations, many worries, and family oppositions he strongly defended her thinking one-day at time things going to fall into the proper place. It is rightly said, “Man proposes, God disposes”. Because the future is known to God, not to man!

There comes the scene-stealer.

Though his urge and commitments for her were visible to her yet like a little casual attitude is enough to break a glass and the saddest part is, though you glue the broken glass, the mark and threat of another break are always visible. In the later year of their love story like the scene-stealer, a third guy quietly enters one afternoon steals his prey for the night and the love story ends unfolding many bitter truths. The next day to that horrific afternoon, he meets her parents and there’s he sees her mask of pretense. He was a complete stranger to her parents. They were only aware of the scene-stealer and they warned her about him. But for her, it was her one casual attitude that was powerful enough to crop her wings and imprison her forever.

To defend a lie, you need to cook stories.

In the end, his telephonic conversations with her cousin appeared voice modulated telephonic conversation and family holidays were the dates with the scene-stealer.

P.C.: iStock

DROPPING DOWN MY CAMOUFLAGE

It would be deceptive if I won’t pen my flaws down

All the time, each human appears in their exceptional camouflage. Isn’t it? Though this French slang “camouflage” was included in common English during World War I, as it was the well-known military visual deception combat tactic of that time yet it won’t be wrong to say, this habit is deeply rooted in human nature since its existence. Whether it is about penning or preaching, we prefer to take the reference of our good human nature. Mostly we prefer to hide our bad habits, evil thoughts, and devilish lifestyle. Of course, who wants to be off from the good book! The Bible perfectly frames it –

“The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?”

But pathetic part of our camouflage lifestyle “we cannot hide the REAL ME from self.” Such one from many bad things inside of me – MY TONGUE!

The scripture puts it this way, “The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.” And going deeper it says, “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” In one-liner – whatever there is in our heart is expressed through our tongue.

In a few hours, I will be stepping into a new year with many hopes, many new professional life strategies, some new plans for personal life but as I take a flashback tour, one of the biggest struggles, I had through this year is “controlling my tongue” which of course resulted in hurting, breaking hearts, and unpleasant and unnecessary situations. Alongside I need to reason what made me fail in controlling my tongue.

THE EGO – None of we human will ever desire to fail or find the self as less important at any place. Desiring always to be at the upfront, our ego gets a hit if we find ourselves blamed or ignored. As the repercussion of such experience, the haughty spirit within us impulsively bashes upon our counterparts. Being arms down and blamed, our heart speaks out rudely and hurts others. Since every action comes has its own reaction, how can we run away without facing the terrible consequences? That’s why the Bible warns,

“A quiet mind is the life of the body, BUT ENVY IS A DISEASE IN THE BONES.”

THE ANGERMy mom and my sibling always tell me; you know you might not punch someone at his face but the words of your mouth can easily pierce the heart and bones, which is hard enough to forget in a lifetime. And my Uncle suggested to me whenever you feel anger, run away from the situation, have an alone ride, and chill your mind by eating some delicious food. It might be an instant relief from anger. But reasoning the anger, often when we feel tempered, the ME inside of me goes wild and does all that possible to punish the causer and prove justice by self-attempt. Our tempered mind weakens our ability of reasoning and quickens our haughty spirit. The tendency of which is, we spurt unethical and immoral words that victimize others.

Being our Creator and Sustainer, God understands our physical inability to control anger. That’s why God of the Bible suggests us,

“If you become angry, do not let your anger lead you into sin, and do not stay angry all day. Moreover, don’t give in to worry or anger; it only leads to trouble. He who is slow to anger is better than a warrior, and he who controls his temper is greater than one who captures a city. “

BEING TALKATIVERecently, one of my good friends lovingly said, “you always love to explain things. I can understand your fear of the misinterpretation of your words and thoughts. Yet it would be much better if you would prepare your mind with a concise script what exactly you need to share.” As evidence to his counsel, recently in one of my meetings, in the flow of my talk, I just posed the right word at the wrong time which literally made my presentation faulty. As a result, the meeting didn’t fulfill the agenda. I realize the Bible says, “The more talk, the less truth; the wise measure their words.”

Concluding, I would say to myself, “CONTROL YOUR TONGUE” because the Bible says, “THE PRUDENT HOLD THEIR TONGUES.”

Be Prudent!

CHEER THEM UP, BUT HOW?

Cheer them up,

But how is it possible to cheer up the family who lost their father in the COVID pandemic?

What can bring a smile to the face, who’s last flight got canceled at the last hour? He is all alone locked in a room, miles away from his family and it’s been a quarter month.

What can drain his stress after receiving a simple email saying, “our company has gone bankrupt, we cannot pay you anymore, you can leave us”?

How can you comfort her when she is abused by her society members only because she is treating COVID patients and it’s impossible for her to runaway from her commitment to being a medical doctor?

How hurting it is when the neighbors’ gossip, rumors, and snubbing behavior is enough to say, I am a risk for his family and others as well just because I was a COVID positive last week?

Is a bag of rice for a month can comfort a family when they have lost their job just because the city is under locked down and all the constructions sites are closed for an unprecedented time?

Well, these are the few people and stories I am coming across since the COVID-19 pandemic spread out. Listening to their painful stories all it seemed “CHEER UP” is a good word but failing to be relevant. I was in a situation where I can neither help my friends nor can talk to them freely. I have to guard each of the words before I speak. In the meanwhile, I got a reminder of the Bible verse,

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.”

Wise is the one who works accordingly in the due time. It is so defining to know that each of our human situations is time-bound which of course gives us the surety that the situation will come to its end at a precedented time. Now the biggest challenge before us is how do we react at each of the times. While in pain and heart-breaking moment, there is an unquenchable emotion and heart filled with sobbing words. All that they look for is a heeding ear and an understanding heart. Probably with this expectation, every human being in his worse condition looks for his dearest friend. As the Bible says,

“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.”

Oh, what tranquil experience it was:

As I picked his phone and heard his voice

I sob my heart out over poise  

The heeding silence of him

Quenched my words within.

After’ hours of interaction with him

My soul found a relish within.

This time he didn’t speak too much

Yet his few words of prayer, love and concern

Was evident enough to feel the retouch.

This might denote my strong personality yet, to be honest enough, “often I too experience the same”. But during that time, the biggest question obstructs the ways of my mind – Who is that strong pillar, on whom I can take rest?  

Years back, my Uncle gave me beautiful advice and I strongly follow it. Whenever I feel annoyed, hurt, angry, or stress, I feel too weak to guard my tongue. Honest enough, at times I have hurt many beloved ones. As a way-out to it, I try to remain silent and never avoid to go for a random ride. If that point, someone can scan my mind, he would surely say I am nothing other than a babbler. With locked lips and shouting mind, I just gush out whatever there in my mind calling out to God. As a matter of fact, soon I find both my mind and my stomach empty. I take some nice food and try to revamp to normalcy.

The way I cheer up others and I feel cheered up reminds me of my favorite song of the Irish poet Sir Joseph M. Scriven –

What a friend we have in Jesus,
all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
everything to God in prayer!

O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear,
all because we do not carry
everything to God in prayer.

Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged;
take it to the Lord in prayer.

Can we find a friend so faithful
who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy laden,
cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge;
take it to the Lord in prayer.

Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In his arms he’ll take and shield thee;
thou wilt find a solace there.

MY DISCOVERY WITH CANDLES ONLINE

One of the blessed days of my life book is the 10th of January 2016. As we were driving back from church, it was my first ever personal time with Chiradeep Patra. Probably, it was his 2nd/3rd question where he enquired about my hobbies and I replied, one of them is writing quotes almost on a daily basis. Without giving a second thought, he proposed to me to write for CandlesOnline and being speechless for a while, I was like “How on earth is it possible for me?” But he didn’t give up on me! He insisted you give words to your thoughts, for the rest, I am there. Lo and behold, the first-ever article of my life “HOW GOOD IS OUR MASK OF PRETENCE?” got published on @CandlesOnline and last month I was able to post my 116th article for @CandlesOnline blog “RELIGIOUSNESS OR RIGHTEOUSNESS – WHAT DO WE NEED TO LOOK FOR?“ Summing up this blissful experience I would say,

“God, at His time, gears you to your way

He makes you something out of nothing

For His glory, in His way.”  

One of my favorite songs is Chris Rice’s famous song “There is a Candle in every soul”. Apparently, my journey with CandlesOnline aces the same. On a personal level, if someone knows us much better than us, undoubtedly, He is God! Since God loves us, he has gifted us with numerous talents, some we know – some are still in that unknown darkness. Possibly once at a time, God sends someone to lit up a candle in our unknown darkness to make His sacred gifts known to us.

His sacred gifts are for His glory

Whereas it all seems inadequate and misty

But like a sculptor out of a mere stone,

He chisels and shapes me, gives me the beauty and maketh known.

Well, that’s the picture I would drop as a referral for my journey with candles. God’s sacred gifts which are our talents that always come in a raw form, primarily it appears to us as inadequate. We feel our talents are incompetent, we struggle for relevance and finally, as we dearth of enthusiasm, we feel bored enough to give up. In spite of, this boredom as we stay put to our talents, learn from our experience, our talents proceed to excellence. Since the gluiness of comfort doesn’t allow a man to grow, God puts the man in discomfort to chisel and shape his learning experience and builds him for excellence.

Sow a seed, water enough the plant

But all it may become extraneous

If the thorny bushes chock, making it impotent     

While speaking to a crowd, Jesus used the parable of seeds to explain why some people do not grow in the Word of God while others do grow. And one of the reasons He mentioned, using the instance of the seed that fell among the thorns, went unfruitful because of its environment, it was choked by the thorny bushes. On contrary to the picture is, what I feel being in the CandlesOnline community. It won’t be wrong to say, CandlesOnline is of my extended virtual family. In which, there is always someone out there to care and support spreading out positive vibes. In the Candles Online group, I always experienced everyone is too good and gracious enough to make you feel friendly. Refreshing a couple of my experiences, whenever I felt low and it reflected on my social media posts or in personal connection whether it is Chiradeep, Preeta, Kalpana, Rajnandini someone in some way always enquired my negative state and had comforted my soul. Going further, friends like Sreepriya, Kuljeet, Sriram, Astha, Sakhi, Sony always makes you feel friendly and alongside respectful. How can I go unmentioned about the three tiny peepers Aparna the first Bengali girl who addresses me as Dada; Payal whom I never meet physically but time to time made her presence vital through reasoning on some facts virtually; and topping all Vipra, my Choti Doctor Sahiba, always trusted and lavished her affection through enquiring about my health condition and also scolding on having late dinner. She never gives a prolonged gap to our virtual chats that had always brought smiles to my face. Putting right my experiences I would say, the best place to grow in your talent is being in a positive environment and that’s each of the Candles Online community made me felt.

God out of His infinite riches

Gifts and Grows our talents.

He gifts out of many purposes

It’s all for His glory through impacting lives.

God gifts us talents, equips us through life experiences to excel in our talents, and provides us a community to grow with positivity, God’s way of work always denotes God has a Purpose in whatever He does! And God’s purpose is we may have a personal experience in our personal relationship with Him and encourage others to have a taste of the same experience and as we continue to do so God’s name is glorified. This perspective becomes more evident as we look at our life situation through the Word of God (Bible). It reminds me of the Bible verse,

“The Word of God (Bible) is the mirror for our souls”.

RELIGIOUSNESS OR RIGHTEOUSNESS – WHAT DO WE NEED TO LOOK FOR?

The world is not only crowded with religious Gurus. Moreover, it is crowded with the Good Samaritans and one of those Good Samaritan IS IN MY LIFE.

In my childhood, my family went through a too hard phase of life. If I can sketch that phase with an exemplary picture, the picture would be “the house of cards crashing down at once”. It was such a phase that unmasked many of our trusted friends & relatives, the intention of their heart, the intensity of their love, their secret scheme in relationship but among all of them one person and their family stood as a Good Samaritan for us. Neither biologically nor religiously they are our relatives, we just have friendship relation. As I revisit that phase of my family, the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. in reference to the parable of the Bible “The Good Samaritan” is too appealing to me –

The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was:

‘If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?’

But… the Good Samaritan reversed the question:

‘If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?’

Surely, the goodness of the Good Samaritan made it evident for God to teach us “GO & DO LIKEWISE.” In God’s understanding the act of the Good Samaritan is counted as “righteousness” whereas the attitude of the thoughts of the Priest and the Levite in the story maybe counted as Religious but not righteous

The root meaning of the word “RIGHTEOUSNESS” is the character trait or quality of being just or right in the eyes of God and human beings. Raising above the meaning, in spiritual context God has called us (men & women) for “RIGHTEOUSNESS” and with this very intention God has created men & women in His image (the spiritual image of Wisdom, Knowledge, & Understanding) to be righteous. As God’s expectation from us is, we would be found blameless, holy, and free from all kinds of accusations in His sight.

Righteousness is not merely obedience in performing religious duties, abiding by the religious traditions & rituals, chanting prayers, and sacred words. Moreover, it is experiencing the love of God by loving God with all our heart, mind, and soul since God loved us in such a manner that He sacrificed His begotten son for us. Secondly, exhibiting God’s love by loving every human being as we love ourselves. All other laws, rituals, and religiosity is below this standard of living.

The intent of righteousness is the restoration of the relationship. Righteousness is exclusive in it’s demands but inclusive in its outputs. For the Good Samaritan for my family amidst of his struggles, his righteous act demanded him to go many extra-miles just to help us but the result of his righteousness included two generations though they belong to two different religions – Hinduism & Christianity. The Bible stamps out such teaching saying,  

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God,

and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.

Well, considering the present global scenario of religious insecurity and religious hatred the profound question is “If God has created us for righteousness and it is only the righteous lifestyle that God excepts from us, then why people are so much into a religious war and religious violence citing the protection of their religions?

NOW globally more than 61 nations are experiencing a high incidence of hostilities motivated by religious hatred, mob violence & lynching related to religion, terrorism, and harassment of women for violating religious codes. More than 84% of the world population who identify themselves with a religious group have been affected by religious hatred. Apart from the non-reported incidents, in February 2020 alone, 36 people in Delhi city are killed due to religious violence and on the report, approximately 280 religious violence is reported every year in India.

Instead of gambling the blame game on each other, the weighty reason is we are primarily evil from instead rather than the evil we see outside. In simple, we hate people of other religions not because our religious group hates them or our counterparts have victimized our faith rather it is because the hatred residing in our hearts initiates the hate and gives enough space to the evil thoughts to play the horror of religious violence. Describing the condition of the human heart, the Bible says,

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. Out of the abundance inside of the heart the mouth speaks.

Following it in the Bible the LORD God says,

I do not delight in sacrifice, or I do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices I look for is a broken and contrite heart.

And what do I, your LORD God require of you? To act justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly before ME.

For that, I the Creator, the LORD God of this universe, sacrificed my begotten Son “Jesus” on the cross as the remnant for your sins and to give you eternal life as you believe in my Son “Jesus”, you appear before me as “Righteous”.