“For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.”
Jesus is explaining what He meant when He said, “Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.” His point was that outward appearance and tradition, i.e. religion, are not what defines a person in their standing with God. Instead, what is going on in the heart is the issue (Matthew 15:20). What is interesting in this verse is that Jesus adds evil thoughts to the list of sins. He is demonstrating that an inward sin is just as defiling as the remaining “action” or outward sins.
Our thought life is important, for it reflects the condition and direction of our heart. Jesus said, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matt 6:21). What we focus on, what drives us, or what we think about is a direct indicator of what is going on in our heart. We must always be on guard, because it is easy for our thoughts to run wild, and the more we let that happen the better the chance that we might steer off course, which is why we must always bring our every thought captive as we seek to obey Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5).
Taking every thought captive,
Pastor Jeff Mericle