Jon Kennedy's 'Postcards from
Guarding your heart through your mouth
Jonal entry 1107 | December 30 2009
One of the most forgotten teachings of the church through the centuries seems mostly lost in our generation. Both Jesus and His disciples warned against "loose lips." Blasphemy (profaning holy things), "filthy communication" (dirty talk), false testimony (repeating unsubstantiated hearsay), and gossip, are alike condemned throughout the Gospels and New Testament epistles.
Jesus said: “every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account of in the day of judgment,” Matthew 12:36. And, “It’s not what goes into the mouth that defiles a man, but what comes out of the mouth, this is what defiles him,” Matthew 15:11. “. . . the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these are the things that defile a man,” Matthew 15:18. “A good man, out of the good treasure of his heart, brings forth things that are good, and an evil man, out of the evil treasure of his heart, brings forth things that are evil: for it is from the abundance of the heart that his mouth speaks,” Luke 6:45.
The Apostle Paul adds: “Let no corrupt communication come out of your mouth, but that which is good and edifying, that it may minister grace to its hearers,” Ephesians 4:29. “. . . now also put off all anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, and filthy communication out of your mouth,” Colossians 3:8.
Church fathers teach that "the pure in heart" referred to in Jesus' teachings in the Sermon on the Mount known as the beattitudes is referring to believers who work to keep their hearts from being corrupted by evil, obscene, or dirty thoughts or words. The mind cannot be entirely kept free of impure input, because the world is always with us and bombards us with temptations. That's what Jesus is getting at when he says "it's not what goes into the mouth..." the mind will form improper words and thoughts "but what comes out of the mouth..." out of the mind into the heart "this is what defiles a man." The experts say that the best insurance against letting those loose thoughts into your heart is to teach your heart to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians:5:17), especially the name of Jesus or the Jesus Prayer: "Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me.".
Finally, James the brother of our Lord added:
So now, what's your New Year's resolution?