Contents of the Heart

Reading for Today: Proverb Chapter 17

Gold Nugget
Verse 4: “An evildoer gives heed to false lips; A liar listens eagerly to a spiteful tongue.”

For out of the abundance of the heart, the ear heareth. Although a little play on words from another verse in the bible, I believe they work well together. Jesus said in Matthew 12:34, “O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” This passage explains to us that the truth that lies in our heart will eventually make its way out. I remember as a kid this used to scare me. Even to this day, if something is in my heart that is evil or wicked, I fight it and expel it as soon as possible before it makes its way to my mouth. This passage can be understood two-fold. If there is truth in your heart it will eventually make it to your mouth as well. Jesus said, “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks”. He didn’t leave room for us to weigh out either side. If it’s in your heart, it will make its way out. I take this as an absolute truth – it is going to happen either way. If you have evil in your heart and you let it stay and grow, it will proceed from your mouth. Likewise, if you have truth and goodness in your heart, you will not be able to contain it. If you are a Christian and do not speak of His goodness and truth, then I have some serious doubts about what is in your heart. Whether you want to call me judgmental or not, I stand by what Jesus said concerning the contents of the heart.

The interesting thought today is concerning hearing and not speaking. That’s where the statement I made in the beginning comes in. “For out of the abundance of the heart, the ear heareth.” I didn’t bold and italicize it this time because it is my words and not scripture. I do however; believe it fits with the teachings of Jesus concerning the contents of the heart. Just as the contents of the heart will proceed from the mouth, the same heart will desire to hear what aligns with its contents. A wicked person hears the worse and assumes evil. If an evil person hears someone else is getting a promotion, their heart hears of someone that cheated to get ahead. The wicked person also loves and takes pleasure in hearing of wickedness. Yes, selective hearing can be a spiritual state also. In turn, a person with a good heart made up of truth can hear of someone that got arrested and will assume that it was a case of mistaken identity. This may be confused with being too trusting and sound like the blind love of a mother or newlyweds. Well, maybe so, but is there a stronger and more passionate love? All of this leads me to one of my favorite verses in scripture. It comes from what is known as the “Love Chapter” of the bible. You have heard it at many if not most weddings. I will just use one portion, “…love thinketh no evil… love does not delight in wickedness, but rejoices in truth… love believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Corinthian 13) It sounds gullible alright, but it reflects the condition and contents of the heart. A good heart hears and speaks goodness, while a wicked heart hears and speaks wickedness.

Lord, I know from these scriptures that I can’t try and control my mouth and hearing near as successfully as I can allow you to change my heart. If you change my heart, I will not have to be concerned with what it hears and speaks. Amen

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