“For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” Matthew 12:34b
I’m not really sure how God tends to work in your life, but when He’s at work in me, it’s hard to miss because He will address the same issue repeatedly until He gets my full, undivided attention. The sermon on Sunday, my own reading throughout the week, a conversation with a friend, a song on the radio…He’ll use any and every means to get my attention in order to teach me what He wants me to learn. I think this is because He cares deeply about the type of person I am and whether or not I’m growing in godliness and righteous living. Where there are inconsistencies, He always speaks to those areas.
This is has been the case lately for me in regards to my speech. Sins of the tongue tend to be present in my life, and God just isn’t having it. He invites me to come just as I am, but He loves me too much to allow me to stay there. So, I’ve been redirected to His Word on this matter more times than I’d probably like to admit, but for very good reason. God is trying to reveal what is in my heart.
Matthew 12:34b reveals the root of our speech – “the abundance (or overflow) of the heart.” What this means is that whatever is in our hearts will eventually come out of our mouths. So what’s in there? What do we dwell on and focus on? What emotions do we feed? Are our hearts set on anger, bitterness, or unforgiveness? Well, then the mouth will eventually reveal it. It can come in many forms (gossip, slander, wrath, clamor, malice, etc.), but it all goes back to the same root: What is in the heart will eventually come out of the mouth.
Maybe it’s time you and I both do some soul searching today. Maybe we invite God into the conversation and ask Him to search our hearts to see if there is anything in our lives that is offensive to Him…anything (Psalm 139:23-24). And then, some repentance might be in order. Because I want the overflow of my life to be grace, love, and truth, not bitterness, strife, and slander. I want God to do the necessary work in me to make me fit for His Kingdom service. I don’t want to continue being who I used to be. I want my speech to honor Him and not disgrace or displease Him.
The overflow. What is the overflow or “the abundance” of your life?