Do you remember the annual show we get to watch during Christmas? “Christmas Story,” right? I love to watch it every year! Especially, the scene where Ralphie sells his friend Schwartz down the river to protect his old man, when he said “THE word, the big one, the queen-mother of dirty words, the ‘F-dash-dash-dash’ word” and gets his mouth washed out with soap. Now, for open confession, that never happened to me. But for those who experienced such punishment, it wasn’t your mouth that needed to be cleaned, it was your heart! Those are the very words of our Lord Jesus Christ and He says that loose, careless, evil talk can come only from an unclean heart.
You know, I was thinking about this recently and as believers, this is an area we have not taken seriously. We read what our Lord said about taming our tongues, but it simply goes over our head. Not only does our careless tongue discount all of our spirituality, it also makes us face the fact that our heart is unclean. Is that too hard to hear right now?
I am not dismissing our profanity because we truly do need to keep it in mind. All of the words you speak say a lot about your values. But even beyond profanity, what about the other things we say? If we gossip, tell dirty jokes, run down other people, raise our voices and scream at our family, we need to ask ourselves: “What unclean, filthy stuff is stored up in us that we could speak this way?”
We need to examine our heart and ask, “Where does this come from? There must be something I have not dealt with or I wouldn’t be saying such things. Why do I go on gossiping? Why do I utter such mean, careless words? What unsanctified strongholds still hold my heart?”
Jesus gives this matter serious weight: “How can you evil people say anything good? Your mouth says what comes from inside you. Good people do the good things that are in them. But evil people do the evil things that are in them” (Matthew 12:34-35). See? Jesus is saying, “If you are careless with your words — quarreling, complaining, murmuring, tattling — you have a serious heart problem! Your heart is not right with God, and it goes very deep. There is an evil treasure stored up in you, just as a snake has bags of poison stored behind his jaw. If deadly poison is coming out of you, it is because the bag has not been drained!”
Here’s what we need to keep in mind. Whenever we allow unclean words to pass through our lips, we have to stop and say to the Lord, “Master, there must still be a root of jealousy, envy or lust in my heart. Dig deep into my heart and pluck out the roots of bitterness, pride or whatever it is!” Our Father truly desires to get at that evil in our hearts, that bag of poison that is hidden inside of us! He wants to root it out and to completely heal us.
(I send out messages like this each morning in emails, and if you are interested in receiving them, send me your email address and I will add you to the list: Mail List)
I do thank you for your gifts. It is your faithful and continued support that makes these messages possible.