A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. (Luke 6:45, NIV)
My friend told me that she recently made a less than gracious comment about her son-in-law during a family gathering.
“The words just rolled out of my mouth and I couldn’t seem to stop them!” she said, mortified.
I told her that, lately, I’ve been thinking about that verse in Scripture about speaking out of the abundance of one’s heart. Because I’ve been in her shoes more times than I care to remember, seemingly incapable of halting unkind comments before it’s too late, and then hating myself for it!
Jesus was right. Whatever is in our hearts will come out. Period. No matter how much self-control we may possess or try to exercise.
Sometimes, the words I speak surprise or confound me. I’m stunned to find out how much a situation or person bother me. And it’s not until I hear myself speak that I notice it. Worse yet, there are times when I (finally!) pay attention to the things I say and what they reveal about my heart’s condition, and I have no choice but to admit my attitude’s in need of some serious realignment!
“Listen to yourself” are perhaps some of the most effective words I can tell myself to gauge the state of my soul. What has been coming out of my lips lately? Words of praise and honor to God? Words of encouragement, affirmation, truth and kindness to others? Or do my words reveal a heart full of envy, discontentment, bitterness and unbelief?
Just like stepping on a scale, listening to myself might be a painful task I shy away from. But if I really want to know where I’m at spiritually, it is one task I need to bravely take on.