"But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man 'unclean'."
The Pharisees did all the right things. They attended every service, gave ten percent of all they had and prayed several times a day. People looked at them and thought they were truly committed to God but they were not. Jesus called them "whitewashed tombs" who appeared to be neat and clean on the outside but inwardly they were dead and rotten. All their words and actions were meaningless due to the sinfulness of their hearts.
It is just like a sponge. Squeeze it and whatever comes out is what is inside. When the circumstances in our lives challenge us, our hearts and lives are tested and whatever comes out of our mouths, is a clear indication as to the condition of our heart.
"For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him."
Whatever flows from our hearts, will be revealed to the world through our words. Do we speak words of encouragement to those who are down? Do we keep our mouths closed when we could say something to hurt someone the way that they have hurt us? Do we praise and thank God for His faithfulness and strength? Do we choose to walk away from a conversation that is tearing down someone's character? Do our words reflect a passion for God?
There is evidence in our lives when our hearts are full of self but oftentimes we do not even recognize it as evil because we have become so numb it. Doing the right thing just isn't enough. We need hearts that are pure.
"But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man 'unclean.' For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what make a man 'unclean'; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him 'unclean.' "
We cannot make our hearts pure. Only God can do that because a pure heart is a work of God. The Holy Spirit identifies the evil within us but we must claim and confess it in order to become clean. We can be encouraged by David. He not only sinned terribly by committing adultery with Bathsheba but he also committed murder to try to cover it up. When he finally came face to face with his sins, he threw himself on God's amazing grace and repented. He experienced true forgiveness and was washed clean. He did not just want to be forgiven of his sins but wanted God to change his heart and make it pure.
"Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me."
We see the wretchedness of our own hearts and attempt to change but oftentimes fall back into our own ways. We have to seek God for stability to pursue a pure heart and our stability can only come from a daily walk with Him. Each day we must recognize that we can only depend on Him in order for our hearts to be purged and purified. We all could use a heart change and one day we will all have to give account for the careless words we speak.
"But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken.
For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned."