A Heart Issue

Day 23

Prayer for the day

Let my cry come before you, O LORD; give me understanding, according to your word. Let my supplication come before you; deliver me, according to your promise.

Scripture for the day

Exodus 7-8, Matthew 15:1-20

Hearts and mouths. They’re intimately connected in even the most stoic of us. So much of what we say is driven by how we feel, but more than that, by who we are, deep down. Many of us believe that cleaning up our language will effect serious change in our heart. We believe that if we just start speaking nicely about people, we will begin to genuinely love people.

There is some truth to the assertion above, but in reality, it doesn’t deal with the core issue. The central issue with our treatment of others is rarely care for words, but care for our own hearts. When we address the actual position of our hearts toward others, toward ourselves, and ultimately toward God, we will automatically address the way we speak of others, of self, and of God.

Pharaoh’s hard heart caused him to speak hard words, to lie to Moses’ face and ultimately to lie to God. His stubborn heart wouldn’t allow him to speak the words that would have ultimately saved his people enormous grief (spoiler alert…it gets even worse tomorrow). Instead, his mouth spews what is in his heart: greed, hatred, and ultimately, a serious lack of compassion and care.

Jesus has the same criticism of the Pharisees. They claim that what defiles someone is what is put into them (the food they eat etc.) while Jesus says that what goes in is just food. It’s what comes out of the mouth that really shows the condition of the heart.

These days, particularly here on the internet, what comes out of people’s mouths is anything but wholesome and edifying. We relish the ability to tear one another apart, whether it’s anonymously on the net or in person. Sadly, this says much about the state of our hearts.

If we truly want to follow Christ, if we want to love our neighbours and treat our enemies well, we need to start addressing our hearts. Then what comes out of our mouths may do more good than harm.

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