Jim Wilson is the retired director of Community Christian Ministries in Moscow, Idaho. He will be posting regularly, so check back in soon!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

In the Heart, Out the Mouth

In my 78 years of life I have heard many dirty words. There were places where they seemed to be normal like in the Omaha stockyards when I was 16 and 17 and the U.S. Navy as an enlisted man when I was 18. My memory focuses on the unexpected times I heard dirty words. These words came from the mouths of a four-year-old, a woman, boy scouts in the scout clubhouse, midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy and from a cousin of mine when we were pheasant hunting as teenagers. All of these shocks happened when I was still not a Christian. I was idealistic. To me, a woman did not talk that way, a scout was clean, four-year-olds were innocent, a midshipman was the American boy, and a cousin was part of my family where these words were not used.

Early in my 47 years as a Christian I came to realize hearts of boy scouts, midshipmen, four-year-olds, cousins, women, and me and my family all started out filled to overflowing with evil. Jesus gave an explanation why people overflow with evil.

“Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man brings good things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that men will have to give account on the Day of Judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matthew 12:33-37)

I will now pull out the salient words so that we can see them clearly.

Tree good- fruit good
Tree bad- fruit bad
Overflow of the heart- mouth speaks
Good man- good things- good stored
Evil man- evil things- evil stored
Judgment day- careless words
Words of acquitted- words condemned

What we see here is that what a tree is, is what a tree does. What a poisonous snake is, is what a poisonous snake does. What a good man is, is what he says. What an evil man is, is what he says. The mouth is the overflow valve of the heart. We do not need to watch our mouths if we store up good in our hearts. If evil is stored up in our hearts then watching our mouths will not stop the evil from coming out.

When Chinese graduate students came here after 50 years of atheism taught in their schools, the word “God” got an incomprehensible look in response. However, if I mentioned a “dirty heart” there were a lot of nodding heads and other affirmative responses. People knew they had dirty hearts, in fact they did not know any other kind.

There are only two reasons for a dirty heart:

1. It has never been cleaned. It has been collecting crud and garbage since the day the person was born. The mouth will spill out the overflow.
2. It is a heart that has been cleaned by the blood of Christ and has not been kept clean by the owner. He or she has not been walking in the light.

“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7)

Consequently, Christians have been known to say things from their hearts that do not sound like Christian things.

We can understand the first reason. The second reason is a contradiction.

“With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.” (James 3:9-12)

Where are you? Do you need to know the Father through the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ? Please write to me.

If you are described under reason two, you also need to be cleansed. Please write to me for a cassette on how to have your joy restored and your mouth made clean and kind.

No comments: