Abundance of the Heart
In the previous episode, “Righteous Living”, I touched on the idea of the abundance of the heart and how we are responsible for that.
The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
Luke 6:45 ESV
If we speak from the abundance of our heart and we are going to be held accountable, we need to control what that abundance of heart is. Jesus had called the religious leaders of His day to account on this matter.
“You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and
the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be
justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
Matthew 12:34-37 ESV
Concerning some recent events, I find myself wondering, is it just the literal words, or is intent and presentation considered?
- Even the truth, when not presented in love, can have a potentially damaging effect
- The attitudes we present, I believe, can also reflect what is in our heart
- To show disdain for a person or group may be a reflection of a bias or a prejudice we harbor in our heart
- Likewise for times when we have a lack of grace, mercy, or compassion
- When we do all things in love and compassion, we also display what is within our heart
Let no corrupt talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
Ephesians 4:29 ESV
We are instructed to be focused on our speech.
- Nothing unwholesome, or rotten, rather that which is encouraging in the situation
- That which the hearer needs to hear
Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.
Colossians 4:6 ESV
- Again, I see that the hearer is to be considered in the choosing of our words.
- Again, our speech filled with grace, seasoned appropriately with love for the hearer.
The tongue of the righteous is choice silver, the heart of the wicked is of little worth. The lips of the righteous feed many, but fools die for lack of sense.
Proverbs 10:20-21 ESV
- Here we see once again the connection between the tongue and the heart
- This Proverb shows value in that which is righteous that proceeds from the heart, while anything produced in a wicked heart is of little value
Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money, saying, “Give me this power also, so that anyone on whom I lay my hands
may receive the Holy Spirit.” But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money! You have neither part nor lot in this
matter, for your heart is not right before God. Repent, therefore, of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you. For I see that
you are in gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity.”
Acts 8:18-23 ESV
- Peter addresses the intention of the heart of Simon
- Simon’s heart reveals that he does not really know God
- It appears he thinks God is as the idols of the day
Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.
Proverbs 4:23 ESV
- We are to be vigilant of what goes into our heart – it should only be what we want to have come out of it later
- That which is good and encouraging to others in need
- That which is holy and righteous in the eyes of God
Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’”
John 7:38 ESV
- The living water refers in part to what Jesus told the woman at the well (John 4:10)
- Is what we are allowing into our heart something that is in alignment with Holy Spirit?
- Those who walk with Christ will have the rivers of living water
- Referring to Joel 2:28
“It shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.”
Joel 2:28 ESV
- After this: after the promised deliverance
- After Messiah
- And so it has been since Pentecost
For the sin of their mouths, the words of their lips, let them be trapped in their pride. For the cursing and lies that they utter,
Psalms 59:12 NASB
- The sin in our heart comes out of our mouth in a variety of ways
- Pride, curses, lies, etc.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
Colossians 3:16 ESV
- Thankfulness is an important ingredient in the heart
- It is the Word of Christ, or of God, that must dwell within us
- Richly – volume and value
- The purpose is for loving one another with encouragement and positive influence
Why do you boast of evil, O mighty man? The steadfast love of God endures all the day. Your tongue plots destruction, like a sharp razor, you worker of deceit. You love evil more than good,
and lying more than speaking what is right. Selah. You love all words that devour, O deceitful tongue.
Psalms 52:1-4 ESV
- Let these things not be said of us
- All these things are revealed through the tongue
- Boasting, destructive speech, deceitfulness, falsehoods
Their throat is an open grave, they use their tongues to deceive. The venom of asps is under their lips. Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.
Romans 3:13-14 ESV
- The Apostle Paul is quoting various ideas found in Psalms
- He is demonstrating how all, Jew and Greek, are under sin
- They are all exposed by their mouths, their tongues, their deceiving speech
- Filled with cursing and bitterness
- And so were we
There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
Proverbs 12:18 ESV
- We decide whether our tongue will bring wounds and destruction or health and healing
- We control this by being vigilant over our heart
- We are responsible for what makes up the abundance of our heart
The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks justice. The law of his God is in his heart; his steps do not slip.
Psalms 37:30-31 ESV
- One who is righteous has a heart filled with the things of God
- From it the mouth utters wisdom (of God)
- From it the tongue speaks justice (the righteous justice of God)
- He is stable and consistent
So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set
among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has
been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
James 3:5-8 ESV
- Since we cannot tame the tongue, we must maintain constant vigilance
- Over the use of our tongue
- Over what is in our heart for the tongue to draw from
- As it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison, we must be ever aware of the need to restrain it
- The tongue is relatively small compared to the body, but it is huge in destructive power
- Just as a spark can set a forest on fire to its destruction, the tongue can likewise lead to destruction the life of oneself or others