“For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of…”
“For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”
Matthew 12:34b, 37 (NIV)
Every morning, Wendy and I sit at the kitchen island with our coffee and our blueberry-spinach smoothies. We share a quick devotional thought and a prayer for the day ahead. We then catch up on what is happening in the world. On occasion, I’ll finish reading an article and then glance at the comments that have been made by other readers below it. I don’t know why I even do this. I always regret doing so because the comments have such little worthwhile content and so much worthless vitriol. It doesn’t matter which side of the political aisle the article comes from.
I find the same to be true even among groups of supposedly like-minded individuals. Years ago I joined fan groups of my favorite teams on social media. I rarely visit them anymore. Even among people who cheer for the same team, I find the conflict and negative discourse over really trivial matters is often off-the-charts. I don’t find it worthwhile to spend my time and energy falling down that rabbit hole.
In today’s chapter, Jesus states a very simple spiritual truth that packs a punch:
Whatever is inside my heart and soul will come out of my mouth (and onto my social media posts) as words.
In the quiet this morning, I didn’t have to search for, or think hard about, what God had for me and my day from today’s chapter. I found myself thinking long and hard about Jesus’ observation: the words I speak, type, write, and use are a leading indicator of my soul’s health and content. I immediately thought of careless words I regret speaking to a friend last week. I then had two other passages that Holy Spirit brought to mind:
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Philippians 4:8 (NIV)
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.
James 1:19 (NIV)
My soul operates on the basic computer principle I learned when I was in high school: garbage in, garbage out.
I head into my day with two questions I’m pondering:
What am I feeding my heart and mind?
What do my words, tweets, posts, and comments reveal about the health and condition of my soul?