“But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.”
Matthew 15:18-19 (ESV)
We drink filtered water for the very reason that we do not want harmful contaminants into our bodies. We care more for this temporal body than our spiritual body which demands even greater care since it is eternal. As I apply and take in personally what Matthew 15:18 states, it means I am defiled from within. It is something no human can run away from. Some say we are born inherently good but that would be a lie since Isaiah 64:6 states our righteousnesses are like filthy rags. Apart from the righteousness of Jesus Christ, our propensity is to stumble and revert to our fallen nature and therefore, there is no good reason for me to take in more negativity and filth that would only fuel the nastiness that lie in the recesses of one’s being.
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
Philippians 4:8 (ESV)
The Litmus Test
“A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”
Luke 6:45 (NKJV)
If you find yourself taking comfort in expressions of anger, bitterness, envy, self-pity etc., does that align with your identity in Christ or the world? The world loves to take in bad judgment and equate it as transparency but does it ever make you wonder why the world thinks most Christians are hypocrites? This statement is clearly stemming from an ironically judgmental mindset as Christians are being painted with a broad brush by the world and this is why Hebrews 12:1 is something every Christian must bear in mind, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off every encumbrance and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with endurance the race set out for us.”
The people who choose to reject God’s moral standards will be the very same ones who will lecture you on what is moral. They will not have a problem calling you out on your profession to Christianity since they actually expect you to be true to your claim and the very instant they see you fall short, then comes the pronouncement that Christians are nothing but hypocrites. Are you taking part in fueling this awful generalization?
You can’t pour out something good when you deliberately choose to nurture negativity in your life and call it Christian. We can try to mask it with positive words but our actions reveal a clearer picture. It convicts us. When outsiders see your words align with your actions, that is what truly attracts, not lip service.
As you would like to get refreshed, think also about what you are pouring out for the world to take in. It is from the good that is in your heart or is it filth?
“Watch over your heart with all diligence,
For from it flow the springs of life.
Put away from you a deceitful mouth
And put devious speech far from you.”
Proverbs 4:23-24 (NASB)
Guard your heart and be mindful what you pour into your neighbor’s heart. Filter what you pour out and what you take in.
“See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness.”
[Image Credit: Search engine result. Special thanks to the OP]