By Allen White
The lips of the wise spread knowledge, but the hearts of fools are not upright. Proverbs 15:7
Several years ago, my wife and I had a small group who met at our house. At the end of the meeting, two of the guys would always go out in front of our house and smoke. The rest of us guys were a little jealous. They seemed to have such a good time out there, but we weren’t tempted to take up smoking.
One day I was talking to another small group leader who was struggling with something in their group. I mentioned every group had something going on. After all, I had a couple of smokers in my group.
A week or so later, a member from this leader’s group came to me and said, “It must be embarrassing for you as a pastor to have two of your group members smoke in front of your house. What do your neighbors think?”
I said, “You know it’s really terrible. I sure wish they didn’t smoke. But, I hear some groups are full of gossips.” Okay, I actually didn’t say that, but how I wish I had. This group member wasn’t an evil person, but the gossiping certainly wasn’t upright.
This proverb makes a connection between lips and hearts. The lips of the wise spread knowledge. Their hearts are set on helping other people and adding value to their lives.
Fools, however, have hearts that aren’t upright. How would anyone know? Jesus said, “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of” (Luke 6:45). A fool’s lips betray the inclinations of his heart.
Often I pray the words of the Psalmist, “May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer” (Psalm 19:14). What is coming out of your mouth? The Bible clearly tells us these words come from the heart. How’s the condition of your heart?
We often use words to express frustration or anger. Whether we’re yelling and carrying on or masking our anger with sarcasm, our words betray a seething underneath. Other people typically can’t give us what we need in these situations.
More often than not, we should direct our angry, bitter and frustrated words to God. He won’t be offended. We won’t hurt his feelings. And, He won’t be surprised by how we’re feeling about things.
When we’re tempted to lash out or get others stirred up, we need to direct our words and thoughts to God. He knows our hearts. He understands us completely. And, God can help in ways no person ever could.
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