The Five Second Rule – Truth or Myth?

By: Sam Chan | Espresso Theology

Just today I dropped my peanut butter toast on the ground. I picked it up and ate it, because of the famous “Five Second Rule.”

The “Five Second Rule” states: “if we drop food on the ground but pick it up within 5 seconds, it’ll still be OK to eat, because no germs will be on the food yet.”

The “Five Second Rule” goes all the way back to Genghis Khan. But a recent scientific study shows it to be false. Food dropped on the ground picks up whatever germs are there, no matter how quickly we pick it up.

Yet most of us abide by the “Five Second Rule”. We pick up our food from the ground and eat it. Why?

Because if we can’t see the germs, we live as if they don’t exist.

(For me, it’s also because I’m too lazy to make another peanut butter toast.)

Jesus has his own take on the “Five Second Rule” – “It’s not what goes into us that makes us unclean, it’s what comes out of us.”

In other words, don’t worry so much about food-poisoning. Worry instead about the poison that comes out of our hearts!

Yet most of us ignore the poison inside our hearts. Why?

Because from our perspective we can’t see it’s there. We can see the poison in everyone else’s hearts – but not our own. So we live as if we’re the only pure, righteous, clean person on the planet. We blame others but never ourselves.

We quickly judge others to be wrong. We call them names like intolerant, fundamentalist, haters. But we can’t see our own intolerance, fundamentalism, or hate.

The only way is to open our eyes and see what Jesus sees. There is poison in our hearts. And then humble ourselves to ask Jesus to pick us up.

Jesus has no “Five Second Rule” for us. No matter how much poison is in our hearts, he will pick us up, clean us, and give us another chance.

Mark 7:14-23

Article supplied with thanks to Espresso Theology.

About the Author: Sam is a theologian, preacher, author, evangelist, ethicist, cultural analyst and medical doctor.