Influencers Weekly Devotional
Friday, July 06, 2012
What Is Your Heart Saying?
“For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thorn bushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” Luke 6:43-45 (ESV)
“For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” With these words Jesus points out the true issue that influences either good or bad words through our mouth. We might think it is our mental state, or our circumstances, or even someone who provokes us. But Jesus says differently. He says it is the condition of our heart. What kinds of words are leaving your mouth lately? They might tell you the condition of your spiritual health, if you are willing to listen, and it would be good for you to keep it shut until you get your inner man right with God, before you cause too much damage.
Why is it so important that Jesus would teach on the tongue? To begin with, the tongue is a powerful instrument with great capabilities. Consider that it can agitate, or it can sooth. It can condemn, or it can affirm. It can speak words that produce strife, or it can produce peace. It can discourage, or it can encourage. It can tear down, or build up. It can speak words of hate, or it can speak words of love. It can speak negative words, or it can speak positive words. Each of these comparisons comes from the same source, the heart, and through the same instrument of delivery, the tongue. But, each word is inspired by either a good or bad heart. It doesn't take long for someone to tell you what's going on in his heart. Most of the time he opens his mouth and speaks, and you feel like you’re looking right down his throat to his inner being. I'll give you some examples:
I went to the barbershop the other day. A crusty old man was having his hair cut, and with each sentence he laced profanity. God's name was ransacked, as he connected every disagreeable person, place or event with G.D. Nothing was sacrosanct, as he pulled those of us within earshot of his words to the vile place he existed. Didn't take long to see the man's heart spewing out the darkness that was no doubt hidden beneath his exterior. It was also a fair indication that he did not know the God whose name he profaned so frequently. Unfortunately, there are also those who confess Christ, and love Christ, but still do not connect that their words can praise him on one hand, and dishonor Him on another. They give themselves the wiggle room to justify bad words, because they were accurate and they were deserved. But does Christ deserve from us that we speak words that create hurt and anger in others? Do we hurt Him? Do we even care?
For example, I know a man who is a Christian. In the last fifteen years, he has been fired from four jobs. Although he will never admit it, those of us who know him know that it was his tongue that got him fired in all those jobs. He would never admit it, for his self-righteousness would never allow him to take the blame. He would always say that his words were correct and the other people were wrong. But after four job losses, the picture gets pretty clear that his words were his demise, and at the source was a heart of self-pity, anger, resentment, and judgmental-ism. I will tell you from my experience in the workplace, people do not enjoy being around such a negative person and negative influence. It will greatly distract productivity in the office and will create division for the employees. An employer sees such a person and his tongue as a cancer that needs to be cut out and disposed of as quickly as possible. Some people just don't connect the dots, even though experience tells them they have a problem. Worst of all, they do not listen to the council of Jesus when He tells them they have a heart problem, when they have a problem with their tongue. My advice to the man is to quit blaming others, and look at yourself, for it is there you will find your own worst enemy. Get your heart right with the God you love and worship privately, and let your worship of Him be expressed by the use of your words publicly. He is gracious. You be gracious. He is merciful. You be merciful. He is encouraging and uplifting to those around Him. You do the same. Let the people see and hear words that come from a good heart. It will make the difference in your relationships, and likely with keeping a job.
If anyone would have the courage to examine himself honestly, I would tell him to look at the symptoms to see who he is following. In Galatians 5:16-21 it says the “works of the flesh” are obvious. What do you see in your life that points out that you are following a dark path, and an evil element who leads you? Is there anger boiling below the surface of your life ready to erupt at any moment? If you will get your heart right with God as you abide with HIm, and allow Him to work in that area of your life, it will change what comes to the surface of your life, with the way you think and speak. What comes out? Look at Galatians 5:22-24. What we see in this passage is the “Fruit of the Spirit” at work in our life, working His way to the surface. When our heart is right with Him, and we are walking with Him without a conflicted heart, people see and hear a man who is led by the Spirit, and not his flesh. They hear words that Jesus inspires. In Galatians 5:25 Paul exhorts us by saying, “If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.” I tell you from my personal experience. When Jesus controls our heart, He also controls our tongue. When He speaks through us, it is a beautiful thing and a blessing to all, including our self. Be a blessing with your words. The people around you need it.
Category: Influencer's Weekly Devotionals
Links & Resources
Influencers- Bakersfield, CA
Influencers-Bayside Church, Northern California
Oswald Chambers, "My Utmost for His Highest"
Tulsa Men of Christ
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