Lord, Wash My Mouth!
Posted on January 29, 2019 by America's Keswick in Victory Call
But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart. (Matthew 15:18a NIV)
I saw a framed picture a few years ago that I wanted to have if I ever renovated my bathroom. The picture was a black and white still life of a water basin and pitcher in front of a window with flowing white sheer panel curtains. A small cut out in the matting read “Wash me and I will be whiter then snow.” The picture seemed so gentle and relaxing. One day, after having words with my daughter, I thought of how those words came out of my mouth. The tongue is a small muscle but it can be a mighty weapon. Often the tongue is used without thinking, aimed at others and let loose. I knew that my mouth needed to be washed out. Washed from words that were hurtful and cutting. Words that were not spoken in love. Words that rang with an unspoken, “One day I may remind you that I have told you so.” As I thought about what had come from my mouth the Lord showed me that my heart was even uglier. If my heart had been right, those words would not have left my lips. In my heart fear and anger reigned rather than peace and trust. Self-righteousness and pride took over and made it impossible to show the compassion, mercy and grace that was needed. Clearly my mouth was not the only thing that would benefit from a cake of soap and a basin of water. I have never literally had my mouth washed out with soap but the thought of that picture did not come to mind as Jesus revealed the condition of my heart. When confronted with the ugliness of what lurked beneath my words I knew I needed to be washed.
James 3 tells us what a struggle you and I have with our untamable tongues. Verse 2 says For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body. The word perfect also translates mature. I know I will not attain perfection but I can strive to be mature. Maturing our words is a process and we will stumble. Part of the process is knowing that when we stumble, you and I need to come to the basin to be washed again and again.
This devotional was first published in Real Victory for Real Life Volume 2.
Kathy Withers is on staff at America’s Keswick and serves as Director of Partner Care. Kathy has been married to her husband Dave for 30 years. They have two adult children. Kathy is active in her local church and teaches a Bible study for women. Her passion is to encourage women to deepen their walk with Jesus Christ by finding and living out the truths of God’s Word.
Daily Quote: “Kind words do not cost much. Yet they accomplish much.” – Blaise Pascal
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: Also for Adam and his wife the Lord God made tunics of skin, and clothed them. – Genesis 3:21