spiritual defilement

Hear and understand: it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person. [Matthew 15:10-11 ESV]”

Religious people sometimes seem to be all about the things that we do.
They focus on food we eat, drinks we imbibe, music we listen to and movies we watch.
Such were the religious leaders that confronted Jesus about eating with unwashed hands.

Their preoccupation was with the externals of the law than the heart of it.
Religious folks often focus on the externals of faith rather than the essentials of it.
And often, the judgmental and unkind things that these speak defile them.

Consider Jesus' explanation of the parable:
“Are you also still without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is expelled? But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone.”
This verbiage is similar to what the Lord taught in the sermon on the mount.
Jesus reminds us in that message that sin is an issue of the heart.
The real issue of Christian life is not about the things we do but why we do them.

I think that the issue may be one of transformation.
A transformed heart is one that is free from the sins that Jesus speaks about.
And we are not defiled when we speak from the heart.

Lord help me to focus on the internals, rather than the externals, of life.

... this devotion is part of the Red Letters series. Click here to read more.


  1. My prayer too Bob. To speak first and think later is sometimes too easy. I pray for a pure heart and pure motives.

  2. I think the reason we focus on externals is because they are so much easier to measure, both for ourselves and for others.

    Internals require a real searching of the heart. Sometimes it might even require a heart transplant.

    I pray that God will give us all a heart like His.


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