“But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man ‘unclean.’” – Matthew 15:18 (NIV)
In thinking about changes that you need to make that will result in getting closer to the life God wants for you, remember the “inside out” principle.
Jesus explained how this works in today’s passage. Bad habits and sinful behaviors are observable to ourselves and those we live with. They also negatively impact both us and those we live with. Though the effect is on the outside, the cause of those behaviors is on the inside of us.
If you really want to start living in a godly direction and change what you are doing, don’t focus on the outside but on the inside… and that’s what Jesus meant when he said unclean things come from the heart.
How do we attack a heart problem? First we must confess it to God and agree that it is sin. When we confess our sin, God will forgive us and cleanse our heart (1 John 1:9). From a clean heart we must begin to rely on God for the strength and power to begin walking in a new direction. This new direction is at the heart of the definition of the word REPENTANCE. When we repent we stop going our way and begin to go God’s way. When confession and repentance happen, that is when changes on the outside begin to be seen.
Talk to the Lord about this today. Are there areas of your life where confession and repentance need to be made? Let your resolutions be from the inside out this new year!