Genesis 43-45 / Matthew 12:24-50
“For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” Matthew 12:34
How can we know the state of someone’s heart? There is no foolproof way, but as we come to know a person, we can get a good idea from the words they speak. They begin to feel more comfortable with us, and any guard they keep around themselves will loosen. The politeness of first impressions wears away and we hear from their own mouths what kind of person they are. A cynical person, for example, will often resort to sarcasm, while a content person will lean towards speaking with patience and kindness. The more a person speaks, the stronger they reinforce the character that determines their speech.
We all have an inherently sinful nature, which makes this circular relationship between character and tongue very difficult to keep in check. For this, we need Jesus. Everything good within us comes from allowing God to work in and through us, particularly in regard to our tongues. We will find ourselves speaking words of life instead of death when we depend on Christ to change our hearts and purify our tongues. In bringing Christ into every situation, we learn to discern His voice and we discover He places within our hearts what to say, and sometimes what not to say.
In our witness for Christ, Jesus also promises to give us the right words to speak when we need them most. Before sending His disciples out to preach to surrounding villages, He warned them they may be brought before governors and officials to defend their message. Jesus told them, “…do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of Your Father speaking through you” (Matthew 10:19-20). Jesus will not only transform our speech as He transforms our character, but He will actually speak His own words through us when called to defend His truth and His Gospel.
Some of us might need to ask ourselves what our words suggest to others about our characters. Would our friends know from the things we say that we have been transformed by Christ? Would they see through us His character portrayed in both word and deed? One of the smallest parts of our anatomy – the tongue – can wield incredible power and it derives from the disposition of our hearts. God says, “Be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy” (Leviticus 19:2). Holiness and speech go hand in hand as does honesty and honour. Our speech is the barometer of our hearts, and when speaking kindly with honesty and honour, we uphold the holiness of God.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank You for sending Your Spirit to dwell in me. I pray You transform my life, my heart and my words so that every part of me glorifies You. Thank You, Lord.