Matthew 12:34b …For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.
In the prior verses to this passage, Jesus has just been accused by the Pharisees of casting out demons through the power Beelzebub, the prince of demons. This eventually leads to Jesus calling the Pharisees a “brood of vipers”. Jesus talks about both the good and the evil that is built up in a man and that his actions come from what goes into the man. He talks about the heart being the source of what comes out of a man.
We are made up of heart, soul, mind, and body. Our soul is affected by the actions of the other three. Our heart and mind work back and forth controlling our actions and affecting our soul. It is believed that the mind is our logic and the heart is our emotion. However, what the mind takes in affects the heart. As Jesus describes, our mouth speaks out of the overflow of the heart.
Many times we react to a situation, not from the mind, but from the heart. I cannot count how many times I have spoken before thinking. It came from the heart, not the mind…it was an emotional response. If I speak before thinking, which many times I do, and it comes from the heart, I must be careful what I allow into my mind so that what I speak from the heart will be good and right. Also, what can come out of the mouth are emotions that have been repressed for long periods of time. Something I have taken in that I did not express emotion around properly and now is exploding out uncontrolled.
The first part of heart work is to watch or monitor what I take in. I realize that what I read, watch, and listen to as well as conversations I take part in, affect my heart. The second part off heart work is to realize I have things that I have held in that will work their way out unchecked if I do not do some work around those emotions. If my heart overflows with bitterness, gossip, malice, and unforgiveness, I will likely spew this somewhere. I must ask the Lord to help me with those sins and to clean them out of my heart so that what comes out will be clean.
Heart work takes time and intentionality. Ask the Lord this week to help you see where you may need heart work yourself. I commit that will as well.
1. What first came to mind when you first read this passage?
2. What emotional response did you feel (Sadness, fear, anger, confusion)?
3. Where are some specific areas where you need heart work?
4. This week, have several conversations with Jesus. In those conversations, ask him to reveal to you where you need some heart work. Then ask him what action you need to take to get your heart clean. Pay attention and follow.
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