“… for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.” Luke 6:45

Few things–if any–tell so much of us as do the words that course from our mouths. Now I’m familiar with such truisms as actions speak louder than words and Emerson’s “What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.”

I quite understand these remarks, and am not in disagreement, for through the years I have seen plenty of people who blustered about with little more than words tailing them. When such people wave their hands about in a meeting calling for volunteers or for someone to give money to a project, the leader marks in his mind: That may or may not happen. Understood. Been there. Seen that. I’ve been told that missionary boards set budgets much higher than what is actually needed, for much of the pledged money never appears.

Yet, Jesus taught that it is from our hearts we speak. Our words, I believe Jesus is emphasizing, tell of our hearts, our intents, our interests. It is that I want to address today.

A few years ago after I returned from a ladies conference, I caught myself rattling on about it to the extent that Jerry’s eyes, if not glazed over, were on the cusp of such a state. I have a definite memory of saying to myself that I was talking about the event too much, and that while he was politely listening, my sweet husband really wasn’t all that interested in what I was saying. During the last couple of years I have developed a deep interest in photography, and I have noted that I run on about lenses and settings and the slant of light–such as that–most likely to the dismay of those about me. During the past week, I finished the first draft of a book, and during the intervening days since then, I have noted myself to be talkative about certain aspects that circle about my writing project. A few times I have warned myself: Be quiet. 🙂

Jesus’ words in the first part of this verse direct our attention to the differences between two classes of hearts: “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil.” This teaching of Jesus is easy to understand, indeed its logic is further revealed in the latter part of the verse that I have already posted: “…for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.”

However, my thought today extends beyond what is blatantly good and evil. It is not evil for me to speak of photography or of other good activities with which I am involved. They are satisfactory things. They are not of evil. …yet they do reveal my heart. If all you hear from my mouth is of such things–though within themselves, they may be harmless–you may well question my heart. For as a child of God, my heart should go to God and His work, to His people, to evangelism, to the Word of God…It would be silly for me to suggest that all we are to talk about is God. That is not at all what I am suggesting. Certainly, I will continue to talk about my book and my photography and my grandkids…and so will you. And we should. We should listen to each other, be interested in others’ goals, dreams, visions, and accomplishments. But today, my soul has thrown a warning: My true interests, my passion, my heart is revealed by the words that issue from my mouth. Of what I speak, of what I think, of what I write is my substance, is my heart.

Guard my heart, God. Guard my heart. Help me hear–truly hear–the words I utter. Amplify the thoughts that rush through my mind today, so that I honestly will examine them in the light of God’s Word. Enlarge in me the consideration of my bent, my interests and my goals. Help me with my heart, God. Give me a heart after You, so that the words I say will be an honest revelation of my passion for You, Your people, and Your work.

One thought on “The Startling Significance of Our Words

  1. that is one of my favourite verses.

    as a doctor, people expect me to adhere to strict health-conscious practices, in that i should practice what i preach. but ever so often, i enjoy a hearty (not necessarily healthy!!) meal & my church friends would prod me about my indiscriminate feasting. that’s when i use this in defence:

    “What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.”
    (matt 15:11)

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