You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. – Matthew 12:34 ESV
Have you ever thought about the words that come out of your mouth? Not the ones you spend a lot of time thinking about and planning the placement of every adjective and noun. No, the ones that come that you instantly wish you could take back.
Many times we convince ourselves, and maybe even the other person that we didn’t mean to say them. But the real question is, why did we say those words in the first place? The Bible gives us the answer,
A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks (Luke 6:45 NKJV).
You see, the thing about it is that our thoughts will eventually come out of our mouths.
Out of the abundance of the heart
In Matthew chapter 12, Jesus finds Himself in the presence of the Pharisees as He so often was during His ministry. The chapter starts out with their criticism of His disciples who chose to pluck and eat a few ears of corn rather than grow hungry.
It quickly disintegrated into a sermon about whether it was right to heal on the Sabbath day until they finally accused the Son of God of being in league with the devil!
They perfectly exhibited what Jesus meant about our words coming out of the treasury of our hearts. You see, the scribes and Pharisees had gotten so used to judging the actions of the people based on the Law of God as given by Moses they had begun to judge the people based on their actions.
I can only imagine how many times they may have had thoughts about a person’s character because of their inability to keep the Law perfectly. In their opinion, the scribes and Pharisees could do no wrong and the people could do no right and we saw these beliefs played out in the Gospels and the book of Acts.
My friend, we all have a little scribe and Pharisee in us. We judge people based on their actions (even though the Bible tells us not to judge). We think snide, sometimes unkind words about the people around us. These thoughts eventually come out in the way we treat them and the words we use when we speak to them.
What are the words that you say about people? Better yet, what are the thoughts you think towards them? Let us commit our thoughts to God and ask Him to renew our minds so that when out of the abundance of our hearts when we speak, we only have good things to say.
Father, forgive me for the negative words and thoughts I’ve had about other persons. Help me to practice thinking and speaking well of others. Remind me that if I can’t say or think anything nice, then I shouldn’t say or think anything. Transform my thoughts for I ask it in Jesus’s name, Amen.
Pause for Reflection
- Who is the person you think or speak most negatively about? Why?
- What are some of the things you’ve said or thought about people in the past?
- How do you think your words affect other people’s impression of that person?
- What can you do today to change your thoughts and words concerning this person.
Other actions you can take:
- Read more devotionals
- Read the related Bible passage
- Explore what the Bible has to say about judging others