Thrive: When What Is in Your Heart Flies Out of Your Mouth…


Matthew 15:1-20

“Then he called the crowd to him and said, ‘Listen and understand: It is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but it is what comes out of the mouth that defiles.’” —Matthew 15:10-11

As a mother of two pre-teen boys, I know far too well that some ugly stuff can come out of a mouth.

Recently, Aidan, my oldest son, was finishing up his daily-allotted video game time when he mumbled something to his younger brother, Owen. Owen promptly responded, “Well, you’re a JERK!” He then ran to his room and slammed the door. Upon further investigation, it came to light that Aidan mumbled, “Your turn,” as Owen passed by. But what Owen heard was, “You’re a turd.”

It is easy to let the wrong thing fly out of a mouth. The poorly thought out platitude at a funeral, the witty comment that came out as hurtful, the statement to a friend in confidence that is shared with many… Jesus admonished his followers to take care with their words. These words reflect what is in the heart.

The Pharisees, the teachers, the disciples all wanted it easy, as if to say “Tell me how to wash my hands, so I’ll be clean. Give me a set of standards to follow so that I can be good in the eyes of God.” Instead, Jesus tells us to watch our mouths, or better yet, to watch our hearts. Those are far harder things to monitor than clean hands. Because sometimes a turn becomes a turd. And sometimes, at heart, we can all be jerks.

“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Oh LORD my Rock and my Redeemer.” —Psalm 19:14

Melanie_Storie_250Melanie Storie is a graduate of Catawba College and Campbell University Divinity School. She has been on staff at churches in North Carolina and Virginia as minister of children, and with her husband, Matt, served with Sowing Seeds of Hope, a Cooperative Baptist Fellowship ministry in Perry County, Alabama. Melanie and Matt have two children, Aiden and Owen. They now live in Shelby, North Carolina.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email