10Then Jesus called to the crowd to come and hear. “Listen,” he said, “and try to understand.11It’s not what goes into your mouth that defiles you; you are defiled by the words that come out of your mouth.”

Then the disciples came to him and asked, “Do you realize you offended the Pharisees by what you just said?”

Jesus replied, “Every plant not planted by my heavenly Father will be uprooted,14so ignore them. They are blind guides leading the blind, and if one blind person guides another, they will both fall into a ditch.”

15Then Peter said to Jesus, “Explain to us the parable that says people aren’t defiled by what they eat.”

“Don’t you understand yet?” Jesus asked.17“Anything you eat passes through the stomach and then goes into the sewer.18But the words you speak come from the iheart—that’s what defiles you.19For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and jslander.20These are what defile you. Eating with unwashed hands will never defile you.”

Do you ever get caught up in the “shoulds” and “shouldn’ts” of life?  I do.  I way too often judge myself and others based on the rules and rituals we follow.  That is so sad and I wonder how many wonderful people could have been my friends if I had seen them for who they really are instead of what rules they broke.  I’m not saying rituals are all bad, just as Jesus isn’t saying that washing your hands is bad.  I’m just saying we need to see them guide-post along the path to life, not the path itself.

Also notice the tremendous importance of our words.  Jesus makes it clear that our words reveal what is in our heart.  That makes me shutter and tells me I have a lot of changing to do.  I don’t need to go back very far to hear myself make an off-color comment.  How often do I say things that are sexual innuendos?  And it isn’t that I need to guard my words, it is that I need to change my heart. 

Lord, help me to hear my own words and see into my heart…then change my heart. Beginner’s Online Bible Study *obbs* 

Think back on the conversations you have had in the last week.  What is in your heart?