You know what I really don’t like about myself? I don’t always respond well. In those moments when I don’t have (or don’t take) the time to consider what my response SHOULD be, the thing that comes out isn’t always what I wish it had been. Ugly, unloving words come spewing from my mouth, do their damage, expose their evidence, and then return right back to my (now sinking-) heart from whence they came.
“But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart….” (Matthew 15:18)
And, in that moment, I experience a mix of feelings which are all fully necessary: regret for my words, sorrow for my failure, and gratefulness for my exposure. Just as a glimpse in the mirror reflects a hair out of place, so an unholy word reveals a heart in disarray. By God’s amazing grace, my sin is revealed; and, because of God’s merciful conviction, I can confess and repent and move forward, saying,
“Search me, O God, and know my heart…. See if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way.” (Psalm 139:23-24)
I don’t always respond well. And the truth is, I won’t ever be able to always respond well. (“But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison.” (James 3:8)) But God can always continue to change my heart.
These things I know,
- that my words will always reflect my heart and
- that I will never be more than who I am in my quickest response.
Oh, that my words would spring pure from a heart being ever perfected by God!