Since we aren’t always able to see inside our bodies, we learn to pay attention to outward symptoms. Chest pains, trouble breathing, digestive issues, loss of feeling—these indicate something is wrong.
So how do we know how our hearts are? We can’t see them. Self-examination can be challenging if we only ask how we feel about how we feel we are doing. Jesus tells us that there is a better way.
“For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. 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 the mouth speaks”(Luke 6:43-45).
Like physical pains, our words inform us as to the state of our hearts. Just as fruit defines the type of tree, so words define the type of heart we have. Words tell the story.
If my words are corrupt, crude, or perverse, I learn that my heart is polluted.
If my words are critical and harsh, I learn that my heart is resentful.
If my words are aimed and intended to hurt, I learn that my heart is full of hate.
If my words celebrate sin, I learn that this is what I truly love.
If my words are pure and good, I learn that there are positive things in my heart.
If my words are encouraging and kind, I learn that my heart is gentle and good.
If my words are aimed and intended to help, I learn that my heart is full of love.
If my words celebrate God’s word and will being done, I learn that this is my heart’s passion.
What would my family think about my words? My brothers and sisters in Christ? My co-workers? My spouse?
How is my heart? Words tell the story.