A Heart for Christ

Out of the heart come evil thoughts . . . these are what defile a person. Matthew 15:19−20

As long as you keep your mouth closed, I told myself, you won’t be doing anything wrong. I’d been outwardly holding back my anger toward a colleague after misinterpreting things she’d said. Since we had to see each other every day, I decided to limit communication to only what was necessary (and retaliate with my silent treatment). How could a quiet demeanor be wrong?

Jesus said that sin begins in the heart (Matthew 15:18−20). My silence may have fooled people into thinking all was well, but it wasn’t fooling God. He knew I was hiding a heart filled with anger. I was like the Pharisees who honored God with their lips, but their hearts were far from Him (v. 8). Even though my outward appearance didn’t show my true feelings, the bitterness was festering inside me. The joy and closeness I’d always felt with my heavenly Father were gone. Nurturing and hiding sin does that.

By God’s grace, I told my colleague how I was feeling and apologized. She graciously forgave me and, eventually, we became good friends. “Out of the heart come evil thoughts” (v. 19), Jesus says. The state of our heart matters because evil residing there can overflow into our lives. Both our exterior and interior matter.

By: Karen Huang

Reflect & Pray

Jesus said that the sin in our heart defiles us. What “evil thoughts” might be defiling your heart? How can you pray regarding this matter?

Loving God, please forgive me for the sins I’ve been nurturing in my heart. I want my heart to be pleasing in Your sight. Please help me to change.