Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring until…you guessed it, the sound of one of my children, not making it to the bathroom, and the trail and smell of puke debris was everywhere.
Forever the optimist, I hoped and prayed it was something they ate. It was Christmas Eve after all, when sugar consumption is at an all time high. Three hours later, however, about the time I had just gotten the laundry contained and the mess cleaned up, again… more puke.
The deal was sealed the next morning when child number two headed for the toilet. (Not soon enough however.) My husband who experiences PTSD as a result of past child vomiting episodes was curled up on our bed in a fetal position and I resigned myself that any visions I had of Christmas morning cinnamon rolls and gleeful angelic package opening was going to have to be put on hold.
Puke is not fun. It’s gross. It’s messy. It STINKS. And if not contained it will most definitely infect others.
What truly contaminates a person is not what he puts into his mouth but what comes out of his mouth. That’s what makes people defiled. Matthew 15:11
Don’t worry, this isn’t actually a verse about puke. It’s about the words of our mouth.
What comes out of your mouth reveals the core of your heart. Words can pollute, not food. Matthew 15:18
The word heart here isn’t talking about your spirit. Jesus isn’t saying that if something bad slips out of your mouth you are obviously evil to the core. Who you are as a son or daughter of God is sealed in Christ. Heart, here, refers to our soul: our mind, will, and emotions. And this part of us needs to be daily renewed (mine does hourly!) as we are all in the process of becoming more like Jesus.
Our words reveal the condition of our soul. Are we paying attention to what we say? What’s going on inside your head? Does what you’re thinking agree with what God says about you? Your circumstances? The people around you? Or have we even stopped to ask Him?
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5
The word obedience here means attentive hearing: to listen with compliant submission, assent and agreement. (Strong’s 5218)
Notice the “ing” here? It’s present tense! (I’m a homeschool mom, I can’t help it. Grammar is just part of what I do.) I need to be aware of what’s going on in my soul, taking it to God, finding out what He has to say about it, and agreeing that He is right. This is what it means to transform our minds.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2
You see, puke is not the problem.
Yes, it’s gross. It stinks. It stains things and it can infect other people. Just like our words. But if all you do is clean up the puke and then live just the same, “Here, have some pizza, then sit on my nice white couch…No!!!!) all you’ll get is more puke. And probably even greater problems.
Just like a sick child needs to alter their diet, rest on the couch, and possibly see a doctor if the illness goes on for too long because something is going on inside them, we need to pay attention to our words and treat our souls.
Some things that come out of my mouth are obvious. I can “clean up the mess” by asking forgiveness of whomever I hurt. Others are more subtle: “It doesn’t matter…Nobody cares…Stupid me…” Subtle or not, these words are indicators that something deeper is going on and we need to spend time with the Lord.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30
God delights in caring for your soul. When you come to Him, He won’t condemn you, but nurture, strengthen, and tell you the truth.
We need to pay attention to what’s coming out of our mouths and make the time to take it to God. When we do, we’ll wind up cleaning up a whole lot less puke and maybe enjoy the cinnamon rolls of life instead!