I chose this passage because I have been reflecting lately on my own heart. What is stored up in our hearts, waiting to come out? Is it goodness or is it evil? Are you ever surprised by what comes out of your own heart or mouth? These are the questions that I want to dwell on today.
Proverbs 4:23 tells us to “guard your heart, for from it flows the springs of life”. Guard means to “keep under control or restraint”. How often do you think your heart needs restraining? Is it sometimes, every once in a while, or always? I believe that we need to guard our heart on a consistent basis.
Imagine a picture of a guard with a sword at the door of your mouth. Only kind speech which will benefit the other person is allowed to come out. If you try to say something vulgar or unkind the sword stops you. This is what the Holy Spirit can do in our lives when we allow him.
The Word of God has a lot to say about our speech. Colossians 4:6 tells us, “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how your ought to answer each person.” Proverbs 22:11 says “He who loves purity of heart and whose speech is gracious, will have the king as his friend.” In these two passages we see the commonality which is the word gracious. This means “pleasantly kind, benevolent, and courteous”. Would your words be described as kind and courteous? Sit a while and think on that before you continue.
I’m sure we can all think of times when our speech was less than gracious. We need to really consider our heart condition when this happens. It says we are producing evil that is treasured up in our hearts when we choose unkindness, anger, slander, or obscene talk. Colossians 3:7&8 says we used to walk in unbecoming ways. “But now we must put away all anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from our mouth.” Then it goes on to say what we are to “put on”. “Put on compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.” (Col. 3:12)
Today I would like to encourage you to think about the behaviors that you need to take off. Then mediate on the verses from Colossians 3:12. What can you put on today. I would challenge you to open up the word and read it for yourself. Let the words of truth wash over you and purify your thoughts and speech. Remember “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks”. (Luke 6:45)