The Pryor Times

January 19, 2012

A clean heart leads to clean living

On the Go
Steve Lay Evangelist, Chouteau Hills Church of Christ

— We usually think of the heart as the organ that pumps our blood.  But in the Bible, the word heart is usually used to refer to the mind or the intellect.  The way we think is of extreme importance.  Jesus said in Matthew 12:34-35, “Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.  A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.”  In other words, before words come forth from our mouths, they originate in our hearts or minds.  The words would not come out if we did not think them first.

It is also true that there is no action without thinking.  Jesus said in Matthew 15:19, “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.”  He is telling us that our thoughts direct us to do our deeds.  So, if we want to act right, we must think right.  And if we want to talk right, we must first control the way we think.

It is what we put into our mind that determines the way we talk and the things we do.  That is why Jesus asked in Matthew 9:4, “Why do you think evil in your hearts?”  We should be careful what we see and hear.  Why should we allow filth to enter into our minds?  If we read, hear, and watch filth, then we should not be surprised when filth comes out in our words and actions.  Jesus said in Matthew 15:11, “Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.”

The Psalmist wrote in Psalms 1:1-2, “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night.”  We need to be selective in the things we allow to enter our minds.  Filling our minds with righteousness will bring happiness.  It will cause us to talk and to conduct our lives in ways that are pleasing to the Lord.

Paul wrote in Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy-- meditate on these things.”  In this verse, Paul gives us some excellent guidelines to help us control our thinking.  Don’t allow your mind to be polluted with lies, trash, and filth.  Instead, fill your mind with things that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, and of good report.  Always be careful what you read, hear, and watch.

Solomon reveals the secret to living a good, clean life when he says in Proverbs 4:23, “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.”  How hard do we work at protecting our heart from evil?  We should try our best to avoid all kinds of pornography, dirty jokes, trashy movies, and filthy songs.  Don’t let Satan convince you that such filth will not influence you.  Slowly, but surely, these things will corrupt our thinking.  Then, that rotten thinking will affect our speech and actions.  

Satan tries to deceive us into thinking that we are the exception.  We think that while others might be affected by outside influences, those things will not affect us.  Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:33, “Do not be deceived: Evil company corrupts good habits.”  Don’t let Satan deceive you.  Filthy thinking leads to filthy living.  Conversely, a clean heart leads to clean living.  Be careful to not allow the wrong kinds of things to enter into your heart.  Take Solomon’s advice, and guard it with all diligence.