We’ve heard it said that there are two things that demonstrate what a person really cares about: his checkbook and his calendar. This is definitely a very good point that resonates with most of us I would think. How much money did we spend this week on anything of spiritual value or eternal significance or even for anything other than ourselves? (And if we did give to some noble cause. . .did we do it humbly and privately or feel the need to “sound our trumpet” for the applause of men mentioned in Matthew 6:2?) How much time did we spend earning money, planning how to earn money in our future, talking or thinking about money? And okay, we could say the same for our calendars too. Clearly, as we can see from the general lack of church attendance in our society, a mentality that “church is a place you go to once or twice a week” versus a community of people in whom you are sharing life, and the increasing time demands of any secular activity, for the vast majority of us, our calendars are not going to indicate a priority of God or the church compared to work/school/hobbies/not to mention anything to do with electronic devices. In fact, we live in a world where people get repetitive strain conditions from too much screen time, we have conditions of workaholics, hoarders, internet search histories full of wasted time (or even worse), and the list goes on. Clearly, we often misuse or mindlessly use our checkbook and calendars. And while this is an excellent lesson to prove the point that we need more decisions/thoughts/actions with God involved with our use of time and money. . . it does seem to overlook one area we have certainly found equally convicting. Our MOUTHS!
For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. (Luke 6:45, NIV)
This verse reminds us that our words evidence what our hearts and minds are filled with. And if we are intentionally seeking to increase or develop our relationships which God graciously made possible through the gift of His son, Jesus, then we will find our words more filled with His spirit and grace and wisdom. But, not just speaking “kindly” and “politely” and those kinds of things. . .words indicating a care/knowledge/priority in thoughts of eternal significance. The older we get, the more we’ve noticed that there are some people who just stand out because their conversation topics and things they generally/casually talk about are centered around God in some capacity. When we are at their house for dinner, we are asked about our faith, we hear different things about their church backgrounds and doctrinal thoughts, they tell us about some Creation Science information they ran across recently, and maybe even share books/DVDs with us of a spiritual value. We leave their house having learned something or having thought about something that matters without having heard a word of gossip or complaint. But, this really isn’t typical, is it?
Many of our conversations with Christians look and sound no different than if we were talking to anyone else. We hear/talk about the weather, sports, politics, school, camping, work, and Facebook threads (and whatever those other Social media things are for younger and cooler people than us). Sadly, we hear gossip, slander, anger, whining, and pride on a regular basis too. . .certainly even in church. And, the Christians who stand out as unique are the ones who make it clear that they actually think about God frequently. How sad. Aren’t we asked to meditate on Him daily (Psalm 1:1-3)? And, aren’t we awfully weak in this? We need to improve in this area individually, as families, and as a church. We need our hearts to be filled with God so our conversations naturally overflow with His spirit. We don’t need to have friends over and get out fifteen Bible study tools and sit and discuss Greek and Hebrew translations. We don’t need to talk about scripture itself all the time, and we certainly don’t need to eliminate friendly, relational talk of a variety of interests. But, we do desperately NEED to fill our hearts with more God and less of the world. When we do this, our church family will benefit, and our mouths will overflow with truth and love so that we are not just a “resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.” (1 Corinthians 13:1, NIV). After all, this isn’t a new idea:
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” (Deuteronomy 6:4-7, NIV)
–Brian and Jennifer Hall