I saw in the paper today that former Seinfeld co-star Michal Richards apparently made a series of racial comments during a comedy routine on Monday, because of some heckling from the audience. In his apology, Richards said, “I’m not a racist. That’s what’s so insane about this.”

Unfortunately, I have to disagree with his evaluation of his character. Jesus said in Matthew 15:18-19, “But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders.”  Racism and other evils are a result of the fall. They are a result of our sinful hearts.

I in means am writing this to condemn Richards in fact I kind of feel sorry for the man. You see he like most people is living in denial of the fact that the bad things we say are not an accident they are evidence of what is really in our hearts. But like most people Richards will apologize and go on his way and never deal with the heart of the matter.

As a Christian, this is a great reminder to me not to ignore the words I say, but to realize that they come from my heart. I can be thankful for situations in which I might become short or impatient or make a rude comment, because they allow me to identify sin in my heart that still needs to be put to death. It allows me to see my true colors.

It is the testing situations that we see if repentance has just been an outward change or an actual change of heart. Some of you may think it doesn’t really matter as long as something changes, but Jesus would have disagreed. He said, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness” (Mt. 23:17-28).

So let us not be like the hypocrites who seek an outward change, but let us be like David who desired true repentance when he said, “Hide Your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Ps. 51:9-10).