Thursday, March 1
“It’s not what goes into the mouth that defiles you, you are defiled by the words that come out of your mouth.”
Jesus was not giving us justification for putting anything we want into our bodies, i.e. alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, overeating, over-medicating. There are things we can put into our bodies that are especially harmful. Jesus was addressing an issue of Jewish religious tradition to stress that there were those who said the right things, but their heart was not in it. What came out was a pretense. So, Jesus was saying, it is not so much what we put into our bodies that is harmful, but what comes out of the mouth is an indicator of the “real” me ... the heart. Here is how Jesus clarified the issue: “But what comes out of the mouth comes from the heart and this defiles a person. For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander. These are what defile you ….” (Matthew 15:18-20a)
Heart-change is something God has to do within us. Here’s the catch…God will only do what we allow Him to do. We have to want to follow in Christ’s footsteps, growing and serving, or God will not work His will in us. I have attended meetings where people would speak of their faith in Christ, but their words were filthy, like a spring of flowing water that somehow got tainted with poison.
You see, it is possible to be very religious by going through the motions, but not be close to God. Jesus always went beyond superficiality to motive and attitude. One gauge for determining whether I am going through the motions of religion is to ask: “What is more important, following the rule or loving a person simply for who they are?” Sadly, most all of us need a reboot when it comes to our motives. So, if you want a reboot in your spiritual life, start with the condition of your heart, because a false heart contaminates one’s soul.
Lord Jesus, I apologize for how things keep oozing out of my life that leave me and You looking bad. I want to be a morally and spiritually clean person, who represents us well. Show me areas in my life that I have become comfortable with but that do not reflect You, and I will commit to work on them. Amen.
- Pastor Clarence