Jesus worked the crowds of people who followed him by letting them know what true religion is: “For no good 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.”
The greatest test of a person’s inward heart is their outward speech. Our words betray what is truly in our hearts. Superficial and surface conversations evidence a shallow relationship with Jesus. Slander, gossip, and backbiting reflect a heart that is angry, bitter, and bigoted. Conversely, a stream of encouraging and helpful words flow out of a heart close to Jesus. Saying what people need to hear, rather than blurting-out what I want to say, comes from a heart which has been carefully tilled and cultivated in the soil of the gospel of God’s grace in Christ.
Thus, just trying to change our speech itself will not do. Instead, we must examine the heart and urgently attend to its state. A loose tongue can only change by altering how we deal with the heart. So, it is vital and necessary to regularly fill our inner selves with the truth and grace of God’s Holy Word; to praise and worship Jesus from a heart of devotion; to allow God to judge another’s heart; and, to monitor our heart’s condition. For the spiritual fruit of loving words can only come from a heart rooted in Christ’s love.
Heavenly Father, the words of your Son Jesus always came from a heart firmly established in relationship with you. As I spend time with you may your Holy Spirit transform my heart to be more like Christ so that you are glorified and others are encouraged. Amen.