“But what comes out of the mouth begins in the heart, and this defiles a man. For from the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, sexual immoralities, thefts, lying, and blasphemies. These are the things that defile a man.” Matthew 15:18-20.
In recent years there has been a lot of talk about pollution and its effects on the environment. Many government institutions, media corporations, and members of the scientific community have spent vast amounts of money to prove (or, in some cases, disprove) that the climate change the Earth has recently experienced is directly connected to the amount of pollution that man has produced. Regardless of how a person may feel about this topic, we must agree upon one thing: that our hearts are more polluted than any place on this Earth.
As we’ve noted before, Biblical references to the heart do not refer to the organ that pumps blood throughout our bodies, but to the inner-most part of our souls; to the core of a person’s soul. In these verses, Christ is debating with the Pharisees over their misinterpretation of the Law. The Pharisees were more concerned about their outward appearance of keeping the Law than they were with the state of their inner, spiritual cleanliness. That is to say, they were more concerned about making sure they were always considered outwardly clean by not touching forbidden foods than they were concerned about what their words and actions reflected about their hearts’ cleanliness.
Christ was very quick to tell the Pharisees that they should be more concerned about what comes out of their mouths than they should be about what they put into their mouths. He said, “it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a man, but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.” The Pharisees took some objection to this, so Christ went further and explained it. He explained how when a person eats something, whether it is a forbidden food or not, the food simply passes through their body, and is then eliminated from the body. A person does not carry the food in question with them forever. But the words that come out of our mouth, along with the way we act, are directly connected to our hearts, to our souls. Our words and actions reflect the true nature of our spirits. “From the heart,” Christ says, “come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, sexual immoralities, thefts, lying, and blasphemies.” These are the things that really defile a man. These are the sinful and defiling behaviors that God is truly abhorrent of, not the foods we eat.
Our hearts/souls are completely and totally polluted by sin. There is not a day that goes by in which sin is not billowing out of our hearts like smoke from a factory smokestack. Try as we might to keep from acting upon the desires of our sinful hearts, sometimes the urges and desires of our heart overwhelm us and we fall into sin. It may be by speaking evil against someone we are close to, it may be by thinking lust-filled thoughts, or in any other way you can imagine. No sin is greater than another, they are all equally detestable to God. We must daily seek and ask for Christ to cleanse our hearts, to purge us daily of the pollution we have inside of us. It is only through His cleansing blood that we are able to overcome the desires that hide within us. It is of the utmost importance that we ask Him to clean our hearts on a daily basis, for when we try to go it alone, we fall into sin. We are not able to stay out of sin on our own accord. But always remember, even when we do wander astray and become overrun by the sinful nature of our hearts, Christ will forgive us of our sin. He will remove the stain of that transgression, and He will set us back on the path of righteousness.
Do not allow sin to billow out of your heart and permeate throughout your life. Go to Christ and let Him cleanse your heart. Let Him stop the pollution that sin produces in your heart.