“Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”
Have you ever said something and the moment it came out of your mouth you regretted saying it? Yes, we all have. It’s because our hearts are deceitful. Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?”
The truth behind Jesus’ teaching is not so much about watching what we say, but guarding and protecting the condition of our heart. Everything that comes out of our mouth springs forth from what is already in your heart.
A couple of chapters later, Jesus was answering criticism of the Pharisees about the Jewish custom of washing hands and He said, “Do you not yet understand that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and is eliminated? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man.” (Matthew 15:17-20)
What you say is a reflection of the spiritual condition of your heart. When you speak kind words, it reveals a cheerful heart. On the contrary when you speak words that hurt others it’s because your heart is not in a good place.
The heart is a well and the mouth is the water pot that draws from that well. It’s not enough to simply “clean up” what you say. The mouth cannot draw up anything but what is already in the heart. That’s why we must guard and protect our heart.
Lord, protect my heart from evil. Help me to remain clean and pure. If I’m doing something I shouldn’t be doing, please convict my soul.