READING: Matthew 15, Mark 7:1-8:10
“What comes out of a person is what defiles him.”
Just yesterday I was talking with students about the importance of our words. In particular, I was talking about the words we say “behind the scenes,” but we would never say if people who respect us were present – that is, words that pastors would never say if church members were present, or professors would never say if students were around. It seems that we too often give ourselves “professional permission” to speak wrongly as long as we are with others who share similar positions.
This concern bothers me because I’ve been in these shoes, particularly as a young pastor. I don’t really want to think about the number of times my speech crossed sin lines. For some reason, I ignored Jesus’ words: “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person” (Mark 7:20-23).
These issues are not limited to words, of course, but words are nevertheless a significant component of these concerns. Thus, fixing this issue in my life was not about simply changing my speech patterns; instead, it was dealing with my heart.
Repentance was in order.
- Confess to God whatever you need to confess today.
- Guard your speech today.
PRAYER: “Lord, thank You for your forgiveness.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Matthew 16, Mark 8:11-9:1; Luke 9:18-27