Out of the Overflow of Our Hearts We Speak

Luke 6:45 “The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.

Recently I’ve been realizing how closely linked my heart and mouth are. The fact that our hearts and mouths are linked is not a new revelation. The mouth is often a common weakness for many of us. I am not exempt from this.  I often hastily respond to situations with raw heart emotion.  Not that long ago I read a book that challenged readers to think and mull over Scriptures – essentially training our thoughts.  In doing so we can better harness the beast that is the tongue. Through this we can not only eliminate the harmful nature of our words but also find peace in our hearts.

The idea of training my thoughts (and heart) struck me in a new way this time around. Could I really learn to focus my thoughts? I liked the indulgence of thinking irrationally or going down “thought bunny trails.” I never thought I was sinning in doing so.  Although, I found my anxiety increased and my discontentment grew.  I could not seem to understand why I could not find peace and did not account my thought life into the equation. On the recommendation of a good friend, I read Loving God with All Your Mind by Elizabeth George (Thomas Nelson, 1982). George challenges readers with Philippians 4:8 to think about what is true.

Philippians 4:8 “Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”

I had heard this verse time and time before. I memorized it as a child. Philippians 4:8 always seemed to be taught as an encouragement to keep ourselves pure (and rightfully so). But I had never broken the verse down – whatever is true. Were my thoughts really true? If my thoughts weren’t true then how could my words and actions align to what I knew was right? Why was I wasting time thinking about things that were not happening or might not happen at all? Looking back, it was no surprise that my heart became anxious and discontent when I chose to focus on what was not true. In training my mind I have found peace and a great ability to use discernment in speaking. It is then, when my heart is at peace and focused on truth, that God can allow a greater work to be done in my life and through me.

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