Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles them. (Mark 7:15)
Over the years in ministry, we have collected sayings taken from the many wonderful folks with whom we have shared life. One of these women was Myrtle, a member of our congregation in South Dakota. Myrtle made the best choke cherry syrup. She loved Jesus, and she didn’t care for curse words. Once at a local café, she had heard enough of a man’s coarse language and this very petite, elderly saint piped up, “Do you eat with that mouth?” I will never forget the look on his face.
Jesus makes a similar point to the Pharisees. What comes out of the mouth tells a story. I have observed in our day the increasing level of hate-filled and vulgar language. Words that once got my mouth washed out with soap are commonplace. But what does this mean for our culture?
The Scriptures instruct us, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up” (Eph. 4:29). Why? We can make the world a better place simply by the words we speak. How? Our words tell the story of a heart changed by Jesus Christ who is “full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). It’s easy to make a difference when we remember: One kind word can change someone’s day.
Determine to speak words from a heart filled with grace and truth.
Cheryl McHenry has been a Wesleyan minister’s wife for over twenty years in South Dakota and Wyoming. She currently resides in Indiana and enjoys walking with her husband.
© 2020 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.