Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Make My Heart Clean

"...the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man unclean." Matthew 15:18

My thought life is important to God, and it is directly connected to my mood, attitude and tone. Whatever comes out of my mouth is a reflection of the condition of my heart. God's Word says, "For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks." (Matthew 12:34) The actual words I speak however, convey only a small part of the message. My attitude, tone and body language communicate even more.

If I dwell on thoughts that are not pleasing to Lord, or thoughts that do not represent truth, my heart will eventually lead me to sin with my lips, or worse. Psalm 39:1-3 speaks volumes to me about how something affecting my heart can eventually make it through my lips and not only affect me, but others. It says...

     "I will watch my ways and keep my tongue from sin;
          I will put a muzzle over my mouth as long as the wicked are in my presence.
      But when I was silent and still, not even saying anything good, my anguish increased.
          My heart grew hot within me, and as I meditated, the fire burned;
          then I spoke with my tongue."

It takes a conscious effort to keep the tongue from sinning. God's Word says it is as though I should put a muzzle over my mouth when I am in the presence of someone who is grumbling, complaining, gossiping, or the like, so that I do not give in to temptation and chime in. Even more than that, though I may keep my lips silent, I must stay in tune with my thought life. If my inward thoughts are agreeing by "not saying anything good" and I choose to meditate on them, they can lead to my own feelings of anger, anguish, depression or despair... and my heart will grow "hot within me".

As I choose to dwell on such thoughts, or play over and over in my mind the events that upset me, they will become like fire burning within me, and likely come out of my mouth. I might speak words of anger or frustration about the situation bothering me, or it might show up in my general mood and tone to the point I take it out on someone unsuspecting and underserving, pulling them down with me.

The remedy? I must continually take my thoughts captive. I must replace each lie or negative thought with a life-giving truth from God's Word. (f.ex. I may be treated this way or that by so-and-so, but God's Word says I am precious in His sight.) When my heart and mind are focused on God, the Mender, Fixer and Healer, vs. on the details of a tough situation, my mood should follow and my lips reflect a heart that is right with Him.

Create in me a clean heart, oh God. A pure heart whose thoughts are fixed on You. Keep my lips from sinning, I pray. May my attitude, tone and mood be a reflection of You. Thank You for constantly moving in my life, refining me and working to make me more like You. In Jesus Name, Amen.

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