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The Power of Words

Heart Exam

“…What you say flows from what is in your heart.” (Luke 6:45)

Let’s imagine for a minute that some guy carries around a two-liter bottle of Coca-Cola™. Hydration is important, right? Somehow, some dirty little rocks got into the bottle. Pretty gross, but to look at it from the outside, it looks like perfectly delicious Coke. And, most of the time, when the guy pours something out of the bottle, it’s just Coke and it tastes delightful.

Most of the time. But once in a while, something unexpected flows out of that bottle. The guy opens it, takes a swig, and ends up with a yucky little rock in his mouth. He’s shocked, and wonders, “Where did THAT come from?”

The simple answer is that it came from inside the bottle. What is inside the bottle eventually flows out of the bottle.

The same principle applies to our heart and our words. Sometimes something comes out of our mouths, and we’re shocked. We wonder where that horrible thing we said came from. The answer is simple—it came from what is in our hearts. What is inside our heart eventually flows out our mouth.

Here’s a real-life example. Once there was a lady who loved Jesus and tried to follow him. This lady came across a stunning cubic zirconium necklace. To her, it looked like a real diamond. She bought it and when she wore it she felt fancy.

But one day, someone asked her if the necklace was a real diamond. To her shock, she heard her mouth open up and say, “Yes.”

Where did that dishonest response come from? It came from a yucky little rock of pride lodged in her heart. Her words flowed from what was in her heart. She had to repent and give the necklace away to keep her heart healthy.

If angry words come out of our mouths, it’s because of a problem in our hearts. If hateful words come out of our mouths, it’s because of a problem in our hearts. Selfishness, unforgiveness, bitterness, unhealed wounds, impatience—all these and more can be lodged in our hearts. From the outside we may look OK, but our words reveal what is really inside our hearts. We can discern the health of our heart by listening to the words we speak.

Second Corinthians 13:5 tells us to examine ourselves. A good place to start is actively, intentionally listening to and examining the words we speak. Are they negative or positive? If our words indicate a heart problem, we must take a step toward fixing that problem. The next step could be awareness and prayer; guidance from a wise, mature Christian; or reaching out for Christian counseling. Whatever the next step is, it’s vitally important to the health of our heart.

It’s not OK to look fine on the outside but have ugliness in our hearts. That ugliness will eventually come out. Thankfully, when our words reveal a sinful heart, we have a Father in heaven who loves us. If we allow it, he will forgive us, heal our hearts, and mold us into his image.

Dear God, examine my heart. Show me anything in my heart that offends you and give me wisdom and strength to change those things. Make me sensitive to the words I speak and enable me to notice when my words indicate something in my heart that needs to change. I want to follow you with my whole heart. In Jesus’s name, amen.

Let’s talk! Have you ever said something you regretted? What did you do about it? Leave a comment in the Reply section below.

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