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The Overflow from the Heart

“Our words are a faithful index of the state of our souls.”

St. Frances de Sales

It’s important to take care of our hearts, because what is in us will come out, whether we like it or not. When I returned from a mission trip to war-torn Kabul, Afghanistan, and had not yet processed all that I saw and heard, it came out when I least expected it. One morning while lifting weights at the gym, I started to cry when the refugee camp and kids with maimed faces resurfaced my thoughts, pushing through the protective cap I had over my heart.

When I’ve been offended and hurt by a loved one, if I have not taken stock of what I felt, validated my hurt, and forgiven the offender, then when I least expect it, anger or cynicism leaks out. Jesus confronted the Pharisees in Matthew 12:33-35. “Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.”

Whatever is in my heart eventually leaks out.  One way or another, I release my unforgiveness, bitterness, and anger, or my forgiveness, blessing, and acceptance. My speech, actions, and thoughts are dictated by what is in my heart. And that is why it’s essential to take care of it.

I enjoy having people over to my house, but I prefer a heads up about an upcoming visit. I’d rather have time to make sure things are put away and the house is fairly decent looking before I have a guest. Likewise, it’s imperative for me when I’m with friends and family to have my heart picked up, so that what comes out of my mouth is good. Jesus is wise to exhort us to be concerned about what is inside of us and how our hearts are doing, because others are affected by the overflow.

“Whatever moves the heart wags the tongue.” Charles Thomas Studd

Relevant Reflections:

  1. What’s in your heart?

  2. How have you seen your attitudes, actions, and speech affected by the overflow of your heart?

  3. Name one way you will take care of your heart this week.

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