What Defiles a Man

Hear, and understand; Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.

Matthew 15:10-11

Do you find yourself speaking before thinking? Does your mouth get you into trouble? Have you had a social blunder by what you said? Have you heard the expression, “you have put your foot into your mouth?” Everyone has put their own foot into their mouth at some point in time. Everyone has said some embarrassing comment or tactless statement. It’s human nature they say or is it the heart of humanity that reveals what is in the heart. In the heat of the moment, we speak out what is on our mind. Feelings bubble up to explode the violence we feel inside of our heart. It is interesting to note that the diagnosis of the heart of man is what proceeds out of the mouth of man. Jesus states that what a man says, is what defiles him. We do not want to admit that what comes out of our mouth can defile us. It is so easy to say something that you should not have said, even if it is the truth.

I grew up in a home where children are seen and not heard. In the presence of adult’s children are to be quiet. I find that this excludes them from the family rather than encouraging them to engage in a conversation. Children can learn all about Speech Etiquette to be polite and respectful during a conversation. Today, it may seem like we have lost the importance of speech etiquette.  The set of norms of personal behavior in the United States Congress seems to have taken on a tone of more aggression to achieve a pursuit of specific aims and interests. This still is the political arena, and it stipulates the freedom of speech.

The underlying question is are you being heard? If you are detached from a group of people, you are not engaged in conversation. It is like what the songwriter Paul Simon said in the song “think too much.”

They say that the left side of the brain
Controls the right
They say that the right side
Has to work hard all night
Maybe I think too much for my own good
Some people say so
Other people say no no
The fact is you don’t think
As much as you could

Are you a little confused? Do we lack feelings of kindness and compassion? As we have entered the world of electronics and machinery along with artificial intelligence, we may be losing the relevance of humanity. Now, I may be getting off of the subject, but we should be thinking about what we say and how we say it and learn where our heart really stands in a situation. There are times we just don’t want to think about it, even if it is staring right before our face. The key is moderation in our behavior and actions.

Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.”

Philippians 4:5

“The Lord is at hand.” therefore; “let your moderation be known unto all men.” Gentleness and forbearance in our actions will bring peace instead of strife. Just as a “soft answer turneth away wrath,” [see Proverbs 15:1]. Those things which man speak, come from the heart, and this is what defiles a man. This is the words of Jesus in Matthew chapter 15, and Jesus goes on to say.

For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.”

Matthew 15:19

Jesus makes it clear what defiles a man. It is evil thoughts. The apostle Paul told the church in 1st. Timothy that the “end commandment is love out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience,” [see 1 Timothy 1:5]. In verse 8 of 1st Timothy chapter one, Paul states, “But we know that the law is good, if a man uses it lawfully.” If a man uses it lawfully, meaning the customs of the land, or conformity to current laws of a country is to be recognized. For a Christian, this means to walk in love with having our conduct in moderation and putting on the Lord Jesus Christ daily. There are no extremes in the actions and behavior of a Christian. The apostle Paul talks about the law of love in Romans chapter 13, when he said, “let us walk in honesty,” and to also “put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts,” [see Romans 13:14].

We put on the garments of Christ because we were baptized into Christ death. We are free in Christ and are no longer in the bondage of sin. As a child of God, we rebuke evil thoughts and put on the love of Christ where peace rules in our actions. We have been grafted into the vine of Christ and therefore we take on the characteristics of Christ. We are dead to the law of sin that we might live in Christ.

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless, I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

Galatians 2:20

Understanding that we are crucified with Christ in order to have Christ live within us. The life we now live is by faith in the Son of God who will perfect us unto good works. If we are crucified with Christ, we were made righteous because of Christ. In Proverbs 10, verse 11, it states that “the mouth of a righteous man is a well of life, but violence covered the mouth of the wicked.” A well of life are words that bring rivers of living waters unto eternal life. This is what blesses the soul of man. The word of reconciliation is what Christ has done for all humanity. We are a new creation in Christ and whatever we were before Christ has passed away, [see 2 Corinthians 5:17].

Let not our hearts defile us any longer. If we spoke out of line, let us ask for forgiveness. There is always forgiveness through Jesus Christ. It is through Christ that we can be reconciled to God. He can change our heart to the heart of Christ where we will not be defiled.