Have you ever taken part in a fad diet? Whether it is the South Beach, the Jenny Craig special, or most recently the keto diet, our culture seems to be overrun with new ideas on how to keep our bodies healthy. While physical health is certainly both important and biblical (1 Corinthians 6:19-20), the Scripture we read today calls us to condition our bodies and our hearts.
Your words define you. As Jesus says in these verses in the book of Matthew the words you speak are indicative of where your heart is. When we become believers, our hearts are changed by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Sometimes this process can be painstaking, it can be slow, it might even hurt a little. Yet, our hearts look different than they did prior to our salvation. When we experience the glorious love of God, our hearts cannot help but to be changed. As John writes about in his first letter to the church- the love of Jesus challenges us to love others (1 John 3).
“The words you speak come from the heart- that’s what defiles you.” Matthew 15:18
Words have always represented a point of struggle for humanity. Still, it is arguably easier for us today than ever before to cast aspersions upon people, defame them, and tear them down, as we sit on our couch and hide behind the keyboard posting to social media. Nothing seems quite as frustrating as seeing those who are followers of Jesus Christ tear down others on online platforms, engaging in heated debates about issues that have no eternal importance.
Christ’s words here are clear- your words, whether typed, written, or spoken, are indicative of the position of your heart. I’m certainly not perfect here either. I have a long way to go in this area. (Perhaps you remember my reference to my morning commute on RT. 8 a few weeks ago!) But I wonder where you might be with this today. Do the words you say point people to the cross? Are they focused on matters of eternal significance? Or are they harsh, rash, and impatient?
Take some time today reflecting on some of your recent conversations. Think about recent interactions when you’ve been frustrated, or sad, or maybe even tempted to bear false witness about something. Ask God to continue to change your heart, so the words you say take the gospel forward. Pray for the Lord to breath life into your words even during hard times.