What’s coming out of you?

It’s not what goes into your body that defiles you; you are defiled by what comes from your heart. – Mark 7:15

The religious elite tried to trap Jesus into saying something by which they could arrest him and end his ministry. They asked him why his disciples ate food without ceremonially washing their hands, as was the custom of the people. Jesus replied that they had replaced God’s law with their man-made traditions. He explained to them that what goes into a man’s mouth (any type of food) doesn’t defile him, but it’s the nasty things that come out of his mouth that do so. 

If we look at what Jesus said, then we can see that our words really do have merit and consequence. How’s that? Well, he told us elsewhere that out of the heart proceed all types of evils and from the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. Our thoughts do have merit because they form the basis of what we see and do. If we allow evil to dwell in our hearts, it will eventually move into the realm of our head and then exit through our mouths. It is these evils that defile us. We have to learn to guard our hearts in order to guard our mouths. The Bible says that if a man can bridle his tongue, then he is a perfect man. That same tongue is also set on fire by hell, so we must learn to exercise self-control in our lives in order to keep ourselves pure and undefiled. Also, we can only do so by the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. By human means it is impossible.

Father, help me to employ the fruit of your Spirit in my life, particularly the fruit of self-control. You command us to be holy as you are holy. I can only do that through your grace, which is sufficient for me. I don’t want to be defiled by my words that come from my thoughts that originated in my heart. Help me to keep my heart in check and guard it against evil. With your help, I can. In Jesus’ name, Amen.