I am currently reading a wonderful book called 40 Days to Healthy Living, written by author Danna Demetre. We only think of healthy living in the physical sense, but this book has some very insightful points on living healthy spiritually, as well. As I was reading “Day 18”, I knew it was what I would have to share with you today. I do not normally recommend a book before I have completed it. However, I have been so thoroughly impressed with this author’s handling of both the spiritual and the physical side of our health, that I am counting on her to continue to do so through the end (I’ll let you know if the book doesn’t live up to my expectations!)
Nourish Your Spirit— The Words of My Mouth
Matthew 15: 18 But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man “unclean.”
The mouth can cause us so much trouble. From putting too much food in to letting the wrong words out, it is often a key player in many of our challenges. Too often, we say something before we’ve passed our thoughts through the filter of God’s truth. Words that tear down and wound don’t please God. Words that gossip or slander don’t either. Yet it is so easy to want to share a juicy tidbit about someone or pass on some interesting news in the cloak of a “prayer request.” I wonder how many of these kinds of prayer requests were ever really prayed about.
It seems if we can get to the root of controlling our mouth and our tongue, which we are told in James 3: 6 “corrupts the whole person,” we may be able to control our entire self. Our verse above says that what comes out of our mouths actually originates in our hearts. If we want to know the state of our own hearts, perhaps we should listen more carefully to not only the words we are speaking but also the silent conversations we are having inside our own minds. In the Bible, the word heart refers to the soul. And the mind is the soul’s pilot. As we have already learned, our words are by-products of our thoughts, and our thoughts originate from our beliefs. If we want our hearts to be pure and have words that flow naturally from our mouths, we must change our thinking.
If the words we are speaking are tearing down more than building up, we definitely need some “heart surgery,” which begins by identifying the lies we believe so they can be excised from our minds. These are the “unclean” things that Matthew is speaking about.
Angry words come out of an angry heart and despairing words out of a desperate heart. Whatever negative, destructive words seem to flow out of our mouths freely and regularly reveal the condition of our hearts. But the opposite is true as well. Kind words flow from a kind heart, lovely words from a loving heart. By identifying our negative emotions and words, we can begin the process of transformation as we replace that which tears down with that which builds up.
As with all spiritual concerns, this is not a matter of self-control but rather of surrender and transformation. It took time for those lies to become imbedded, and it will take some time to dislodge them. As our hearts and minds become purified, so do our thoughts and our words. And surprisingly, a changed heart may also produce changed appetites for food and other things, as the “mouth” may no longer need to try to fill the gaps of a damaged heart.
Demetre, Danna (2012-03-01). 40 Days to Healthy Living (pp. 217-218). Baker Book Group. Kindle Edition.
You can find this book on Amazon here. As of the date of this post, the hard copy only costs $6.99 and the Kindle edition is only $5.38. If you have been struggling with the topic of living a healthy life, this is definitely worth the few dollars!