“Jesus called the crowd to him and said, ‘Listen and understand. What goes into a man’s mouth does not make him unclean, but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him unclean…But the things that come out of the mouth come out of the heart, and these make a man unclean. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what make a man unclean; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him unclean.” Matt. 15:10, 18-20.

We have a tendency to focus on external behavior, legalistic performance, as demonstrations of the condition of our heart. Jesus made it clear it’s the other way around: it’s what comes out of the heart– attitudes, words, thoughtlife, spirit toward others– that reflects the actual condition of the heart. Legalistic performance, especially when carried out so others might see, cannot change the heart.