January 24th Devotion

Making the Most of Your Mouth
by Lynette Kittle

“What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them”—Matthew 15:11

In the current culture, it seems what goes into the mouth is given much more thought and priority than what comes out of it. Even Jesus and His disciples discussed which is more important. As Mark 7:18 describes, “Are you so dull?’ He asked. ‘Don’t you see that nothing that enters a person from the outside can defile them?’” Sadly in today’s setting much more focus and importance is put into what types of food goes into a mouth, while what comes out of it seems to be given very little thought.

Yet Jesus took great care to explain why what goes into the body through the mouth, is not as important as what comes out of it. “Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body?” (Matthew 15:17) Continuing His dialogue with them on the topic, Jesus had more to say about it, “He went on: ‘What comes out of a person is what defiles them’” (Mark 7:20).

Current culture seems to foster hateful, hurtful, and careless words designed to humiliate and destroy others, and supports the sharing of it through public and social media for the whole world to hear or read. As well, worldwide share-ability through technology has escalated the effects of its destructive reach.

Still Jesus emphasized that what comes out of peoples’ mouths is destructive to themselves (Matthew 15:11) a truth seemed lost in today’s society. Yet how many people might think twice about what they are writing or saying if they understood their words are defiling themselves? If individuals truly understood how their words towards others are actually revealing more about their own heart, along with causing much harm personally, they might reconsider the things they say and write.

Luke 6:45 explains how “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” If you’ve been tempted to jump onto the social media insult wagon, consider your words as Ephesians 5:31 urges, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling
and slander, along with every form of malice.”

Instead of lashing out with your words, Colossians 3:8 encourages, “But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.” Ask God to, “Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips” (Psalm 141:3). When you do, Scripture assures, “Those who guard their lips preserve their lives, but those who speak rashly will come to ruin” (Proverbs 13:3).
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