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Week 4:

What is in Your Heart?

Our words reflect what's in our hearts. If a man loves sports, he talks sports. If he loves money, he talks money. If he loves art, he talks art. I marvel at the slackness of speech among Christians and at how often preachers are guilty of gross exaggerations in their reports about their meetings, and at how carelessly they slander others. I was at a ministers' conference some years ago and we drove back and forth in packed buses all week between the hotel and the conference center. But never once among all those ministers was the conversation about God or holiness or the coming of Jesus. It was sports, or golf handicaps, or how big their Sunday School was. It was just senseless chatter even among preachers. But preachers aren't the only ones guilty of conversation which is unprofitable and unedifying.

Do you wonder that the psalmist in Psalm 51 cries "Create in me a clean heart"? We've already considered the foulness of the human heart, yet God can take that heart and make it pure and beautiful and eloquent for Himself. There's nothing that gives us away as much as our speech. Our speech shows where our hearts are.

You can't cover up your heart. If there's bitterness in our hearts, it will come out through what we say and how we say it. If there's hatred, hatred will come. If there's anger, anger will come. No wonder James says that the tongue can't be controlled. The heart is engineering all that the tongue is going to say.

The heart is the factory that produces all these vile things, and the tongue is the showcase of the heart. Surely one of the most amazing things about the transforming grace of God is that man loses his filthy language, lying tongue, and unholy anger when he gets saved. There's little use carrying a big Bible and wearing a lapel pin saying how spiritual we are if we explode at the office, speak unkindly to our children, or if we're critical and bitter and become known as somebody who carries on.

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