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David posed the question: “Lord, who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy hill?” (Psalm 15:1) Part of the answer is “He who speaks the truth from his heart” (v.2). God demands truth – because He is truth. But truth is pretty hard to find these days. Thanks to social media, anybody can have a platform from which to espouse their brand of truth. But it is worth listening to? Does it agree with the source of truth?  Before you and I take their message to our hearts we need to ask one more question: what does their message say about their heart? Jesus said, “Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34). What comes from the lips says everything about a person’s heart – about who they really are. Are their words angry and venomous? Are they boastful, profane, and disrespectful? If their words are all about themselves then so are they.  Any “wisdom” they offer will only serve them and not you. Are their words kind, helpful, beautiful, encouraging, and uplifting? Do they speak the truth? A person’s words tell you the true condition of their heart. Especially in those unguarded moments of an emotional response.

Here’s why this matters – when you absorb someone’s words, you are, in a sense, taking on the condition of their heart.  Do you want a heart like the latest celebrity or athlete? Do you want your heart to resemble a politician’s? Perhaps it’s time to evaluate the voices you are listening to. Whose Twitter feed are you following? What music do you listen to? What t.v. Shows are you watching? There’s so much we can’t control, but where we have a choice, let’s choose to hear from good hearts full of truth because what goes in our ears touches and shapes our own hearts.

And by the way, the same thing applies to your children (and grandchildren). They are literal sponges – what are you allowing them to absorb? What is shaping their very impressionable hearts? Who are they becoming because of what they are hearing?  And most importantly, how are your words towards them and around them? What are you planting in their hearts?

Yes, you’ve heard this from me before, and you’ll hear it again because it is so important. Go back to what Jesus said –words reveal the condition of the heart. What are your words saying about you, Beloved?

What’chu Talking About?

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Just an observation:
I’m studying Titus and came to 2:7 – Paul is exhorting Titus to always set an example for younger Christians in all things, but especially in his words, with “integrity (that’s speaking the truth), seriousness (which has at its root ‘dignity’) and soundness (words that build up and promote healing). Paul said if Titus (and by extension you and me) will let these things govern our mouths, the people who try to oppose him (and us) will be put to shame. And “they will have nothing bad to say about us.”
That tells me a couple of things:
– Our mouths can make or break our testimony. (Yikes!)
– Our words can bring about opposition or they can bring shame on those who mock us.
– Our words (and yes our behavior – but keep reading) reflect well or poorly on the whole Body of Christ. What you say affects the reputation of the Church and of Christ.
People can hear you even if they can’t see you. Think about it. Paul spoke with written letters. Radio and television spread voices even farther. But when in human history, have you been able to share your words with so many people outside of your physical sphere of influence. Some of you reading this have never met me nor I you. But you are receiving my words. So I’d better be speaking truth with dignity to encourage you and build you up.
Why do our words matter? Because God is the author of words and language. “In the beginning, God said . . .” The universe was created by the power of God’s spoken word. And John called Jesus Christ, who is the Son of God – “The Word” (John 1:1). Words have their beginning in the eternal God who created all things and rules all things.  Paul said that “faith comes from hearing the message . . . through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17). And salvation comes with the spoken confession: “Jesus is Lord” (Romans 10:9-10). Our words matter because they represent God. Beloved, remember that the next time you open your mouth.