The words of a gossip are like choice morsels;
they go down to the inmost parts...
From the fruit of their mouth a person’s stomach is filled;
with the harvest of their lips they are satisfied.
The tongue has the power of life and death,
and those who love it will eat its fruit.
(Proverbs 18:8, 20-21)
Jesus said it, therefore I know it to be true: What comes from a man's mouth defiles him. Even more precisely, Jesus explained “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man.” (Matthew 15) There really is no question - We can't blame what we consume as being the cause of our debasement and degradation. “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked,” from Jeremiah 17 corroborates Ezekiel 28:2 which states that "sin begins in the heart" These verses build upon this same foundational idea: man, without Christ's robes of righteousness and the gracious power of the indwelling Holy Spirit, is defiled.
What is the biblical meaning of defile? According to Strong's, it means to take what is sacred and treat it as common or ordinary, to pollute or profane by treating with irreverence.
That truth gives biblical context for these proverbs of Solomon.
But first back to Matthew 15. Our words show our thoughts. Our words reveal our heart. The heart was considered the seat of emotion and the Bible indicates the heart is at the center of our spiritual activity and all the operations of human life. “Heart” and “soul” often used interchangeably.
Matthew 12:34-36 says “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.” Jesus points to our heart as the origin of our words. When a mans speaks what is righteous and true or when he speaks what is unrighteous and false, his words will affect others.
Have you ever heard of gustatory auditory synaesthesia? A relatively obscure cross-sensory neurological condition, it affects an estimated two-and-a-half million people worldwide. One way scientists identify this particular condition is through a series of MRI scans which observe reactions in the part of the brain linked to taste. When normal people are given headphones and played music and words, no activity is recorded in that area. For those who suffer from this disorder, the taste area of the brain indicates significant amounts of stimulation. (1)
It started me to wondering, what would a person like this "taste" when they read or hear my words? Are my words nauseating? Are they sweet? Do they provide sustenance and can God use them for growth? Are they pleasant... or bitter and biting?
Even more, what does God think? Do I allow His Spirit to guide savory words that entice others to find out more about my God?