What is worse, a potty mouth or a potty mind?
Philippians 4:4 (ESV) Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
This blog is inspired by a bible study that happened at Calvary Chapel Tulare. last night, the LORD pressed on me this verse and with your permission I would like to share.
Another reason why I write this blog
I write this as a guy who messes up all the time, if you want confirmation of that then please contact my wife. The reason I write this is that the main reason that non-Christians give for not coming to church are the current inhabitants. This is a fair comment as in some occasions we do find that there are some folks that don’t come off as natural. We all have seen them regardless of which church you attend there is a “Barbie and Ken”, beautiful, they are everyone’s best friend, never a hair out of place, life seems so easy.
Then you have the others where life is good, on the outset you don’t see any problems but they have internal issues, a married couple divorce suddenly, or a family just leaves church (not just one, but the faith completely) with no surface explanation. Morality slides and although they live a society version of a moral life, they no longer adhere to living a Christian life.
And you have the guys like me, The Apostle Peter’s, the ones who suffer from “foot in mouth disease”, the ones who serve but are never considered for other roles that would stretch them, when the newcomer or visitor sees this situation in a church then he will either try to become in the first two groups or bail if there is any chance he would be in the latter group.
People in category number one and two are usually in the leadership roles of the church. (At some point of their church lives) The number threes are the guys who will be the silent backstage workers who will serve and serve and keep on plugging away because it is done for the LORD and not the kudos of man.
Again why it is VITAL that we have community
Today’s church by in large is faulty, it is made by sinful man and often times we set it up to protect our little kingdoms and not let folks in to help, we then wonder why we don’t get the next (or current) generation into the fellowship. We need to fix this hemorrhaging loss prior to putting this verse into practice.
Paul starts this by stating that we should rejoice, be grateful for what the LORD has saved you from. I was going up to a remote town last Saturday evening to deliver a meal to a sister who was ill, I love these long drives with my wife as we get a chance to talk and I shared with her that I am grateful to her and the saving power of Jesus. Had it not been for my wife’s love and showing me my saviour, then I would probably be still drinking too much, in bad relationships, and not living a good life. In fact my life would be described as self-destructive.
We have to be grateful for the small things, waking up in the morning, money in the bank, love in our homes, clean water in our fridges, clean clothes for our backs and dry shoes for our feet (hopefully with as little holes as possible) and a roof over our heads, lets even be thankful for the device that you are reading this on.
We have to really battle entitlement, we see what other believers have been blessed with and we get a touch of the “green eyed monster” this really kills our rejoicing and our worship. Lastly we have to be content where the LORD has placed us, at least until he stirs our hearts up to change.
How to be reasonable
This is the hard part for me, letting go and allowing God to deal with stuff that I want to micro manage. I trust in God but there are still (9 years after I have got saved) that I want to “get it for God” and I fail to receive the blessing that the LORD has for me in casting my burdens unto him. Paul reiterates the words of Jesus in Matthew 6, who says in a way much better than I can.
Matthew 6:25 (ESV) “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Guard your heart
Let’s face it; we are swimming in the toilet bowl of humanity in this earth. Switch on the TV, the internet, even open the wrong magazine and we will be encountering all manners of stuff that will cause strife in our hearts. We all have different hot buttons and we alone will know how to “guard our hearts” but my advice is do not play with fire. If (like me) you struggle with alcohol, don’t go to parties where folks are offering you beer, or don’t hang out in bar rooms. If your heart is attracted to illicit images, then get some accountability and don’t put yourself in that situation.
What you have to ask yourself is “what is keeping you from deepening your relationship with Jesus Christ?” search deep within, then you will find out what needs to change in your life, it might be something that is regarded as innocent, it may be the amount of time you spend on your phone. It maybe the amount of time you spend playing games, it doesn’t have to be some hardcore sin all it has to be is something that occupies your time and mind.
Jesus speaks of the heart in Luke 6
Luke 6:43 (ESV) For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, 44 for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. 45 The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
Which is why we have to guard our hearts. I have had the issue of “potty heart” where whilst I don’t let it escape my mouth, I certainly think it in my mind. We have to get rid of it in order to get over this.
Guard your mouth
If you fail to guard your heart, then your mouth will begin to show you up. If you drop the swear bombs each time frustration gets to you or every time you drop something in your kitchen, that exposes your heart as well as embarrasses you. I know some awesome Christians who struggle with this, it is not a salvation issue, however you need to get down and pray about it. Jesus explains the issue and relationship between allowing the heart to fester in sin and letting it spill out in Matthew 15.
Matthew 15:17 (ESV) Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is expelled? 18 But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. 20 These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone.”
Let us look at this practically; it is really hard to serve someone and esteem others higher than yourself if you are swearing and calling them names in your mind, saying “God bless you brother” from your mouth while all the time thinking “You idiot” from your heart. Eventually something has got to give and like a cancer, this will eat you from the inside out and should you leave this unchecked you will eventually show your “true colours”.
I speak from experience. In my “BC” days, I had a short psychological pulse; I had a fuse that was so short it measured in millimeters instead of inches, I still pray on a daily basis for patience because even although I do not lose it these days, I know that deep inside me is that volcano that erupts at the most silly of times. I know the power of prayer in this area and if you have a few seconds I urge for you to pray for me in this area also. Like I say it is not an issue so much these days but it is something I keep a very tight lid on.
What is worse?
As discussed, both sinning from the heart and from the mouth lead into one another, the question we have to ask is “Out of the choice, which is worse?” I would go so far as to answer this honestly by stating they are of equivalent nature. It really is a case of “pick your poison” One will stay internal and can sometimes cause other sins such anger, strife, resentment, unrealistic disliking of someone based on the case you have built against them. The other would just be the one who would embarrass you if it comes out. Jesus talks about the sin aspect of this in Matthew 5.
Matthew 5:21 (ESV) “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. 23 So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 25 Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. 26 Truly, I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny. 27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.
I love this verse as many “moral” but non-Christian folks would say “I have never murdered” so I am moral, well Jesus talks about the heart. He also talks about offering praise to God whilst still in a heart to not do so, that is vital, we want to approach our worship with God as clean as we can be, so that when we pour out our praise we do it as blamelessly as possible.
You will notice I quote a lot from Jesus; he is my ultimate authority on these matters. I am much like the continuity guy on the radio or TV who whilst he plays a role, is not the reason you tune in, he gives a wee filler in between bible verses, but I have this desire to point you to the life changing words of Jesus Christ, this is not about me, and it’s all about him.
Lastly I can’t say it any better than Paul does when he speaks of what we should focus on “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”
God bless and I pray this was a blessing, please prayerfully consider liking, sharing or commenting below.