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Maggots In The Mind

Warning: the following paragraph is not for those with a weak stomach. A French proverb says, "A closed mouth gathers no flies." We'll come back to that. Is anything more disgusting than a fly in in your mouth? Not just something the fly has been on, which in itself is enough to make most people shudder. But what if the fly itself were to get in your mouth? Besides carrying germs on their bodies, each fly has a food pouch. After filling this pouch with a meal at a food source like a trash can or garbage dump or some even more unpleasant "restaurant," the fly finds a comfortable spot where it can digest said food, often dropping parts of the "meal" and leaving them behind. This material is what comprises the so-called "fly spots" you will see on the walls, ceilings, and even on the sink and dining room table in your house if you choose to let flies live with you unchecked! Ugh! It's enough to make you sick! And the fly loves it! No wonder so many of us see flies as filthy little creatures fit only to be swatted.

Can I challenge you to think about that French proverb mentioned above? Why would a mouth ever interest a fly? Where is the wisdom in that proverb? Just this. Flies are attracted to filth and rot, and a lot of both is flying out of a lot of mouths these days. On TV and radio. In the factory and in the office. Cameras and microphones catch it occasionally coming out of the mouths of high-ranking social and political and cultural leaders. At school and in stores and in city parks and on public playgrounds. Sailors and soldiers and truck drivers and average citizens. Filthy, foul language. Verbal sewage. Dirty talk. Profanity. Swearing. Cursing, or as we like to call it here in the south, "cuss words." God's name tossed around like it was a common, average thing. Even worse, God's and Jesus' names placed in front of a curse word in a warped attempt to intensify and make it even more vulgar and vile. No wonder flies would want in some mouths! Foul mouths are among the most filthy places on earth. Mike Riley refers to profanity as "a mind-maggot" (preachersfiles.comitongue/001011.htm). The Bible reveals this to be a very apt description. Jesus taught in Matthew 12:34 that what comes out of the mouth originates in the heart —"Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks." The NIV says, "out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks." So, all that foul language spewing out of some mouths reveals an even deeper problem — dirty hearts. Ephesians 4:29 calls on those who have put on the new man in Christ to clean up their speech: "Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers." The word for "corrupt" in this text means "rotten." Sad to say, but maggots would feel right at home in some people's minds and mouths, because they are full of foul, rotten, raunchy stuff. God forbid it ever be so in the life of a Christian. Is your speech corrupt or Christ-like? Rotten or righteous? Godless or full of grace? Listen to yourself talk for awhile. Would flies feel at home in your mouth and maggots in your mind? Not if Jesus Christ controls your heart and your tongue. Think about it.

Dan Gulley
Smithville church of Christ