The Overflow of the Heart (Matthew 12:22-50; Luke 11)

For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. (Matthew 12:34b)

We’re pretty good at censoring our words (although even that is a practice that’s somewhat waning in our culture), but every once in a while a person slips.  Out comes this expletive or nasty thought that surprises everyone around us, including ourselves.  Where did it come from?

Jesus said that, from the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.  You mean those words or those thoughts were actually deep down inside me?  Yep.  I don’t know about you, but my heart is full of all kinds of evil things, and I have to make a conscious decision to feed it stuff to draw it back to God.  The moments when my sensor seems to be missing have more to do with how my relationship with God is going than with anything else.  Here are some things that I’ve found useful for keeping my heart healthy:

  • A regular quiet time – Spending time with God draws your heart closer to His.  If you’re not spending time with Him on a daily basis, then your heart isn’t being drawn to His.
  • Uplifting music – I’m not against secular music.  Having said that, my heart is much healthier when I’m pumping it full of uplifting or Christian music.
  • Forgiving others – It sounds simple enough, but when we don’t forgive others our hearts become bitter.  Is there someone you need to forgive?  Forgiveness is just as important for you as it is for the person you’re forgiving.
  • A solid mind diet – This is kind of like uplifting music.  What are you reading?  What are you watching?  What do you put in your mind?  The things you feed into your mind directly influence what comes out of it.
  • Choosing to worship – When do you worship?  Is it just on Sunday morning?  Are there other times?  The heart that worships God all day long is a healthy heart.

That was not meant to be an exhaustive list.  How healthy is your heart?  When it overflows through your mouth, what comes out?

Father, I want to have a healthy heart, but there are all kinds of things surrounding me that try to draw my heart to a place of unhealthiness.  Please give me discipline in my life and in my time with You.  I’m not interested in discipline for the sake of obeying laws, but I am interested in it for the sake of drawing nearer to You.  Cleanse my heart, and fill it with the things of You.

About Seth

Seth is a pastor, author, and speaker who lives in Batesville, Indiana. He is married to Kari, and they have two daughters, Madelyn and Noelle.

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