After Jesus called the crowd to Him, He said, “Listen and understand this: It is not what goes into the mouth of a man that defiles and dishonors him, but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles and dishonors him” (Matthew 15:10-11 Ampl. Bible).
You Don’t Say?
The Bible warns us about the type of words we speak. Every spoken word produces either life or death. The Book of Proverbs provides a vast array of verses that warn us about negative speech and alert us to the fact that we will be judged for every idle word spoken. Whether we’re aware of this fact or not, we can become ensnared by our words (Proverbs 6:2). However, our lives can be transformed if we choose to adapt to speaking positive words.
Idol words are powerful, and they have the ability to create and change things. Proverbs 18:21 declares, “life and death are in the power of the tongue.” Idol words are also careless words that profit nothing. Matthew 12:36 reveals that everyone will have to give an account on the day of judgment for every empty word spoken.
Ephesians 4:29 warns us not to let unwholesome [foul, profane, worthless, vulgar] words ever come out of your mouth, but only such speech as is good for building up others, according to the need and the occasion, so that it will be a blessing to those who hear [you speak]. But be kind and helpful to one another, tender-hearted [compassionate, understanding], forgiving one another [ready and freely], just as God in Christ also forgave you (v.31).
“A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it!” (Proverbs 15:23).
The heart is the organ that gives expression to inward thoughts. It is the core of our being. When we listen to evil people, their speech enters our ears, creates inner thoughts and witty ideas, and exits via the heart.
Jesus explained it this way, “Whatever [words] exits the mouth comes from the heart, and this is what defiles and dishonors the man” (Matthew 15:10-11, 18). Defile means to render unclean or impure; purity is corrupt. Within the heart, wickedness dwells. Evil speech that comes out of a man is the fruit of sin that resides within man’s heart. The attitude of the heart will ultimately be revealed by the lifestyle of the individual.
He continues with this theory, “For out of the heart comes evil thoughts and plans, murders, adulteries, sexual immoralities, thefts, false testimonies, slanders (verbal abuse, irreverent speech, blaspheming). These are the things which defile and dishonor the man” (v.v.19-20a).
To Do or Not to Do?
God created us in righteousness and true holiness. The fruit developed from a person’s lifestyle can be seen by his/her actions, proving whether or not the person is yielding to the sinful nature or to the Holy Spirit. Therefore, put away falsehood, and speak the truth to every man. Don’t let your anger cause you to sin, and don’t let it fester during the night. Do not give the devil an opportunity to lead you into sin by holding a grudge or harboring resentment or bitterness. (*Read Ephesians Chapter 4)
“The devil will use anything to hinder God’s people, and the improper use of anger is one of his greatest tools.”
Out With the Old, In With the New!
Even though no man can tame the tongue, we are aware of the fact that love conqueror all. You may not be able to tame the tongue, but it is possible to control your speech. The Bible tells us to transform our thinking by renewing the mind. Purpose in your heart to rid all old ways of thinking and leave the past behind. Learn to speak words that produce life intentionally. Frequently practice speaking positive words; by doing so, you’re disciplining your flesh. Study your Bible and rehearse verses that guide the heart and mind by godly thinking, and take responsibility for guiding your speech. Also, practice encouraging and edifying others often; this disciplines the flesh and creates a friendly atmosphere.
The Secret to Success
Apostle Paul leaves us with this testimony, “Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good report; if there is any excellence if there is anything worthy of raise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart). The things which you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things [in daily life], and the God [who is the source] of peace and well-being will be with you” (Philippians 4:8-9 Amp. Bible).
*It’s in your hands. Follow God’s plan.
Resources: The Holy Bible (Amp. Bible); The Complete BIBLICAL LIBRARY, New Testament STUDY BIBLE Matthew; Galatians-Philemon