The following is contributed by Jerry a B4T coach.
A favorite verse I often repeat out loud was given by an angel to Joseph: “You shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21). This promise always breathes faith into me.
But what if you don’t recognize your sins? What if you are hurting yourself, yet the cause is a mystery to you? Actually, this is pretty much where we all start. Jesus cried out on our behalf even as He breathed His last. “Father forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34).
This is precisely why Jesus was the The Teacher before He became The Savior. First the light, then the cure. The Pharisees and Scribes were furious that Jesus’ disciples were eating without washing their hands. Jesus saw the problem not as unwashed hands but as unwashed hearts. They saw it as outward; Jesus saw it as inward. It always starts in the heart.
Jesus went on to say, “Out of the heart come evil thoughts: murder, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders” (Matthew 15:19). And Jeremiah said, “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) Indeed it is.
There is saying speakers at times use; “As I know my own heart…” and then it usually follows a statement that reveals that the speaker does not, in fact know his or her own heart. Our hearts deceive us.
How can we know our heart? We need to listen to the words that come out of our mouth. Jesus said, “What proceeds out of the mouth this defiles a man.” And explaining further He said, “The things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart and those defile the man” (Matthew 15:11, 18).
“Defile” is not used much in our vocabulary nowadays. Think pollute. When I am angry, what will I say? When life is unfair, what will I do? When I am insecure, insulted, ignored, lonely… will I pollute my soul? How much trouble do we bring on ourselves?
Learning to spot our troubles and invite Jesus into our messes is freedom. When we don’t hear our own words, darkness remains. John says, “If we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). Transparency. Walk in the Light.