Transcript of a clip from the talk A CLEAN HEART by Rev. Ernest O’Neill
You remember those things that Jesus spoke about that come out from the heart. Many of us are able
to abstain from fornication but our heart wants to fornicate. Many of us are able to abstain from
adultery, but our heart wants to commit adultery. Many of us are able to abstain from murder, but
our heart wants to murder. We find a rising from within us that would do damage to a person if we
possibly could. That’s why we’re often able to abstain from theft, but our heart wants to thieve. We
are often able to abstain from slander, but our heart wants to slander. Now of course, the last two
are what usually give away those Christians whose carnal nature is still alive inside them. That is,
slander and backbiting. And that explains also why so many of us who are really carnal Christians
with unclean hearts are so complacent about our state. Because most of the church is afraid of what
the law can do to us or what society thinks of us. So many of us, who have become aware of God,
don’t want to have a reputation spoiled by getting into trouble with the law, so we abstain from
murder and theft and adultery and fornication, but there are no legal penalties for gossip and
backbiting and slander. And that’s why so many of us in churches expose our unclean hearts not so
much through the fornication or the adultery, but through the slander and the backbiting and the
gossip — through the talking about other people behind their back. And loved ones, that’s how you
can tell if you have an unclean heart.
Have you ever found yourselves talking about somebody behind their back instead of going to them in
love and sharing with them what you can see or what you think? If you do that, if you talk about
people behind their back, then your heart is unclean and you’ll continue to allow that unclean heart
to take you in an up and down Christian experience for the rest of your life — if you can last
throughout the rest of your life — because increasingly that unclean heart clouds the voice of God,
just as that does.
It clouds the voice of God and it clouds your sight of God and the more years you walk with that
unclean heart the more difficult it is to hear His voice and that’s why you’ll find as you go on in
your Christian life, without having your heart cleansed, you’ll find: “I don’t think I hear Him as
clearly as I used to, I see men, but as trees walking.” You haven’t been touched the second time to
be able to see them clearly as real men.
And have you ever found yourselves in one of those little negative complaining groups where
everything you say is: “Oh, this is wrong, and that’s wrong and I’m complaining, because they should
do this, this way.” Loved ones, if you find yourself doing that kind of thing, it’s because your
heart is unclean, your heart is dirty and that heart of yours will continue to send up that kind of
motivation to you as long as it remains unclean.