Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable and pleasing in Your sight, O Lord, my [firm, immovable] rock and my Redeemer.
Jesus said, “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.”(Matthew 12:34) We may try to hide what we really think of a person or a situation, but sooner or later, our words will reflect our beliefs. For most of us, aligning our hearts and our words is difficult, and sometimes (maybe often), we dance around what we really believe and say things we don’t really mean.
But for those who are serious about following Christ, alignment doesn’t stop with our hearts and our mouths. We need to align both with the character and purposes of God so that what we sat and what we believe reflect His heart and His direction for our lives.
What then, is acceptable in God’s sight? God delights in our acts of kindness to those in need, our forgiveness of those who hurt us, and our refraining from blurting out venomous words. God loves it when we are brutally honest with Him about our faults and broken hearts because He knows He has our attention. Then He can reveal the secrets of His love to us.
Our words serve as a thermometer, reflecting the content of our hearts and indicating the desire for change. The more we value God’s grace, His wisdom, and His strength, the more we’ll long for every part of us- especially our words and our hearts- to be in alignment with Him.
The heart of a fool is in his mouth, but the mouth of the wise man is in his heart.
There is a saying in the world of computers that says, “Garbage in, garbage out” and that is true for humans as well. What we take in will also be what comes out. It is one of the irrefutable laws. In Philippians Paul tells us that what we think about is important and what we entertain in our minds finds a place in our hearts and forms our character that manifests itself in our words, attitudes, and actions. Listen carefully to the words of Paul:
“Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart].”
As we examine what we receive, we would do well to screen it through this scripture. Whenever you are being given information the first question to ask is: “Is it true?” In our social media world we often see things posted on Facebook and the internet that have absolutely no validity or truth but become passed on as though it is true. Many times someone’s character is assassinated even though there is no evidence that they are guilty of the accusation. The sadness of social media is that it allows individuals to make cruel and unkind statements while hiding behind a computer screen. Many who post things wouldn’t dare or have the courage to speak them face to face. So whenever we read something on social media or whenever someone tells us something we ought to attempt to discover whether it is true and whether there is evidence that it is true instead of accepting what is often someone’s subjective perception of truth. Furthermore, if we choose to filter what we hear through truth, then what we think about will be true and then what we speak will be true and we won’t find ourselves repeating or exaggerating some untruth.
I am a fan of the Andy Griffith show and how I enjoyed the episode that the shoe salesman came to town and someone started a rumor that he was really a talent scout. It was hilarious watching the men of the town bringing their children and themselves and performing, all the while thinking that the shoe sales was a coverup. The look on their faces was priceless when they discovered that a little misinformation and a little suggestion became accepted as truth. I wonder how often, especially in our technology connected world today, does this occur? I watch sometimes with amazement as people accept impossible things as truth. I’ve learned over the years that the only constant truth is the Word of God.
“For their sake I sanctify Myself [to do Your will], so that they also may be sanctified [set apart, dedicated, made holy] in [Your] truth.”
The second thing that Paul says about what we entertain in our mind is whether it is “pure and wholesome.” I realize that this may sound subjective and many live as though it were, but in reality for the Christian it is objective for we have a standard by which to measure pureness and wholesomeness- the Word of God. When we place a label on what is good and pure and wholesome, we must ask, “Does this reflect the character of God, does it align with the person of Christ and does it make me a better person? If the answer is no to any of these questions, perhaps we ought to reject that information.
The third thing that Paul says is that our thoughts ought to be on “whatever is lovely and brings peace.” Do our words spoken out of the abundance of our hearts being peace or discord? Do they build up or tear down? Do they lift up and encourage or do that press down and discourage? Do they bring unity among believers or do they sow discord? Do they heal or do they wound?
These ought to be what we ask ourselves when we open our hearts and our words to the light of the Holy Spirit. I think there are none of us who do not need to ask forgiveness for the times when our words, our actions and our conduct to others has not been pleasing to God. The Bible says that one day we will give an account to Christ for every word we speak and how we have lived.
“But I tell you, on the day of judgment people will have to give an accounting for every careless or useless word they speak. 37 For by your words [reflecting your spiritual condition] you will be justified and acquitted of the guilt of sin; and by your words [rejecting Me] you will be condemned and sentenced.”
May we pray this benediction daily: “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.”
Dr. John Thompson