If you genuinely want to know your spiritual condition, then listen to the words that you spontaneously say when something disagreeable happens. What are the first words out of your mouth when you drop a bag of groceries, or someone cuts you off in traffic or someone cuts in line when you’re boarding Southwest Air 🙁 not a problem right now )? What you will hear is the condition of your heart. Your spontaneous reaction is revealing.
Matthew 12:33-37 (NLT), “A tree is identified by its fruit. If a tree is good, its fruit will be good. If a tree is bad, its fruit will be bad. You brood of snakes! How could evil men like you speak what is good and right? For whatever is in your heart determines what you say. A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. And I tell you this, you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak. The words you say will either acquit you or condemn you.“
What’s in our Hearts?
Good intentions are good, and reading your Bible is good. These indeed appear to be good fruit, but you verbalize what is in your heart when you don’t have time to engage your mouth-filter.
If we dive into the original Greek, we learn the inference from an “evil person produces evil things.” The word produces or brings ἐκβάλλει (ekballei) Strong’s Greek 1544: means to throw (cast, put) out; I banish; I bring forth, produce. From ek and ballo; to eject. The wording indicates the spontaneity of what comes from the heart.
If your words show that your fruit isn’t appealing, then it’s time to ask Jesus for help. God is ready to transform us by the renewing of our mind (Romans 12:2). Don’t ask God for a better mouth-filter. Instead, ask Him for the renewal of your mind, for your transformation will change you, which includes your heart. Good things will be in your heart, so good things will spontaneously come out of your mouth.
I wanted to use this picture (I love coffee) but it didn’t connote today’s message. Still, I couldn’t pass up that opportunity to use it!