A woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
Give her the product of her hands,
And let her works praise her in the gates." (Proverbs 31:30b-31, NASV)

Friday, July 12, 2013

Do You Understand the Words Coming Out of My Mouth?

Summoning the crowd, Jesus told them, "Listen and understand: It's not what goes into the mouth that defiles a man, but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man." Then the disciples came up and told Him, "Do you know that the Pharisees took offense when they heard this statement?"He replied, "Every plant that My heavenly Father didn't plant will be uprooted. Leave them alone! They are blind guides. And if the blind guide the blind, both will fall into a pit." Then Peter replied to Him, "Explain this parable to us."
"Are even you still lacking in understanding?" He asked. "Don't you realize that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is eliminated? But what comes out of the mouth comes from the heart, and this defiles a man. For from the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, sexual immoralities, thefts, false testimonies, blasphemies. These are the things that defile a man, but eating with unwashed hands does not defile a man." (Matthew 15:10-20 HCSB)

Sometimes my words do a poor job of showing my faith in God. Where I should be (and want to be) a humble pilgrim, faithfully praising my Lord for His provision, I sometimes slip into old habits instead - I let my mouth run away with itself and spout drivel. I am especially susceptible to grumbling about people who upset me - people (ie. customers) who are rude or curt or offensive. But I must remember what Jesus so clearly commands, "Leave them alone!" Griping does nothing productive and can effect negativity, so it is best to leave it alone and let them be. My heart, as expressed in this way through my mouth, shows itself as containing stupidity, carelessness, and unhappiness within it. Griping is like muddy flood water - it can impede and make dirty the path on which I walk with my God. It seems as though I must learn this lesson over and over again, but even Christ's disciples, who walked with Him in the flesh, have moments where they falter to "get" all that Jesus has to teach; it goes to show that we are all capable of deeper understanding.

My only hope is in Jesus. I must put Him in my heart so that His goodness flows from my mouth. It is human nature to falter at every opportunity, so it is especially important to reach out to Him in every moment. And the most incredible thing? He reaches back. :)


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