Out Of The Abundance Of The Heart…
”A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” Luke 6:45
Sometimes when I think I have been particularly righteous and deeply spiritual in some matter, I reflect on the moment or situation and quietly pat myself on the “spiritual back” and think, “What a holy man am I.” It’s just about that time that someone cuts me off on the freeway or pulls in front of me and slows down or suddenly stops in front of me causing me to brake suddenly and screech about 6 feet to stop to avoid rear-ending them and I start to let out some language that, if fully released, would probably peel paint off the walls. But for the grace of God I constrain myself to something less “blue”…well at least most of the time I do.
In such times I’m reminded that there’re still things in me that are not pleasing to God and I’m not as spiritually pure as I’d like to think I am.
But having said that let me also add this. Those times have become fewer and farther between because I have spent time meditating and studying the WORD. When my thoughts are continually of the things of God my heart is filled with His Words, His thoughts, His wisdom and His truth. So that, in the pressure moments when I would give vent to what is in my heart, what I speak is His Word and the enemy cannot take advantage of me with words of death and destruction.
Still, I’ve also learned to take it all with a sense of humor, recognizing that in my weakness God’s strength to transform me is made strong. It’s in the acknowledgment and acceptance of my human frailty that I am lifted somehow above it, so that the next time I don’t react as viscerally as the last. And each time I’m tempted I’m made stronger by the degree to which I rely on God’s grace to keep a watch over my heart and help me to guard my tongue against the temptation to defile it by what I allow to be the course of my conversation.
The words are mine and I can choose, by His grace, to be angry and sin not, to be reviled and revile not again, to be threatened and not threaten again, but submit my situation and myself to God’s righteous judgment. When I do what is righteous God rewards me. When I sin the Holy Spirit convicts me and God corrects me. When I’m lost He leads me. So, either way in Him I’m still on my way to the destiny He has determined for me. The work of my faith is to choose to speak what edifies, encourages, comforts and exhorts to good works and avoid what defiles, discourages, demeans and belittles. The words you and I speak have power to heal or to destroy, to give life or take it away. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” Proverbs 18:21
“Father God in the name of Jesus, thank You for giving us the right and the ability to choose our words, to choose to live righteously and to be undefiled by the manner of our conversation. We want to please You, Lord and yet we are weak in our humanity and sometimes let our self-righteousness get the better of our tongues and we say things we later wish we hadn’t said and do things we later wish we hadn’t done. But, thank You Father, for the conviction of the Holy Spirit that helps us to acknowledge our failure to live up to Your standard of Godliness and the grace to keep reaching for higher things and to keep trying to make our words consistent with Your heart in us. Thank You for causing us to be conformed to the image of Christ in us by our words and our deeds. In the Holy name of Jesus Christ our Lord we pray. Amen”
Genesis 46:1— 47:31, Matthew 15:1-28, Psalm 19:1-14, Proverbs 4:14-19