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Matthew 15:18 But the words you speak come from the heart—that’s what defiles you.
Think of a time when you heard somebody say something hurtful, only to quickly recognize it and say, “Where did that come from? Oh my, I didn’t mean that.”
The unfortunate reality is that somewhere in their heart, they did mean it, or they wouldn’t have said it. The even more unfortunate reality is that we’ve all done it. We all have more ungodly darkness within our hearts than we may realize. And it isn’t until we ourselves say something hurtful that we’re left wondering, Where did that come from?
Reading through this passage (Matthew 15:1-20), we get a sense of where the Pharisees are coming from. In our culture, there are often expectations to wash hands before and after a meal, after using the restroom, and more. In Jesus’ culture, washing hands before a meal had also become a common practice. But the Pharisees had made this custom a law. Jesus wasn’t against the washing of hands (He washed His disciples’ feet!), but He was primarily focused on the heart of a person.
READING & PRAYERS:
MATTHEW 15:1-16:12 (also read the commentary notes in your Study Bible of choice.)
QUESTION: How often do you find yourself upset when you hear others make fooling comments, yet defending, justifying, or making excuses for yourself when you make foolish comments? What does the latter indicate about the condition of your heart?
REAL LIFE PRACTICE: Consider giving up watching national news, social media, and other distractions for at least one full week in order to slow down and spend time with Jesus.
Take a Step: Remember to continue utilizing the One Minute Pause app throughout the week. If possible, begin to explore and practice the 3, 5 or 10 minute pause to more deeply root yourself in Christ.
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I confess there are times when I make excuses or justify my own foolish or hurtful comments. Change my heart, and break my heart for what breaks Yours. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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