“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 (NIV)

It’s not how well people dress themselves that should impress you; that’s only the starting point. But it’s what comes out of their mouths that gives you a more accurate depiction of who they are.

Jesus was debating with religious people about why his disciples didn’t wash their hands ceremoniously before they ate. They believed that a person was “defiled” if they didn’t wash their hands in a ritualistic way. Jesus looked at the religious leaders and realized that they had clean hands but dirty hearts.

We can be super religious but defiled on the inside. On one occasion Jesus told the Pharisees that they were like whitewashed tombs; clean on the outside but on the inside they were full of dead men’s bones. In Deuteronomy it stated that if anybody touched anything dead they were deemed unclean for at least seven days. If these Pharisees were full of dead men’s bones then that meant that they were perpetually defiled; even though they were outwardly clean.

Jesus told his disciples that it’s not what goes into a person that makes them unclean but rather what comes out of their hearts. For out of the mouth the heart speaks.

If you really want to know who a person is just let them keep talking and eventually they will tell you.

  1. Whoever you’re in relationship with, you have to make sure they have a good heart. Pray to God to show you the heart of the people you are dealing with. “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? But I, the Lord, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.” Jeremiah 17:9-10
  2. Make sure your heart is clear of all offenses. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold. When a person holds grudges and offense in their hearts they lose the ability to love over time. In the movie “Black Panther “ Killmonger had become accustomed to killing people because he held a grudge against his uncle for killing his father when he was a little boy and he held Wakanda, or the Kingdom, in contempt. And even though he wanted the throne he could never make a good king because he didn’t have a good heart. In his heart he had become a colonizer!
  3. We must take inventory of our hearts. Jesus told his disciples that out of the heart evil things unchecked can grow. “For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and defile a person.” ‭‭Mark‬ ‭7:21-23‬ ‭NIV‬‬; Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life. Psalm 139:23-24

Today, search your heart before you open your mouth because chances are there’s something you need to deal with before you speak. It’s better to be silent and be thought wise than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

Dear God,

Search our hearts. If you find anything in us that does not reflect your goodness, please remove it so that we can represent you from the inside out. May the meditations of our hearts and the words of our mouth be acceptable to you oh Lord!

In Jesus’ Name,