Today in Jeremiah 30, we see the old “bad news good news” scenario. God tells Jeremiah to write down a summation of the past, present and future. The bad news is what has recently happened to His people. The good news is that God has not forgotten His ancient covenant. “You shall be my people, and I will by your God.” In the Gospel from Matthew 15, Jesus talks about what defiles a person.
“It is not what enters one’s mouth that defiles the man; but what comes out of the mouth is what defiles one.” For starters, Jesus declares all foods clean. We don’t defile ourselves by the things we eat. We defile ourselves by spewing hatred, gossip, lies and slander from our mouths. Today’s Gospel passage ends at verse 14. But I encourage you to read through verse 20 to hear Jesus’ explanation. I promise it will be worth your time.
Back when I was in the very early days of my conversion process, this passage had a profound effect on me. See, I grew up in a house where cussing and lying were a part of everyday life. Nasty stuff popped out of my mouth without a second thought. Then I really got a hold of Jesus’ teaching on this and Wow! Blew my mind! Now, nasty stuff still comes out of my mouth, but I am working on catching it a bit earlier…before I defile myself.
Father, you know how often we defile ourselves by the things that come out of our mouths. Help us to be more charitable in our hearts, which will relfect in our speech. Amen.