Hurtful words slip out of your mouth. You imagine grabbing them, pulling them back in. But…too late. Some things aren’t subject to do-overs and second chances.
Because our hearts are inherently filled with selfishness, pride and secret lusts, we slip up. Usually the first glimpse of our true heart nature comes from our lips.
Last week we talked about our wicked heart. And that having one wasn’t a hopeless situation.
What we need to realize is that our heart will always reveal itself. Even when we think we’re guarding it, have it encased in steel armor, in a weak moment, things we thought we’d banished will pop out of the abyss of our humanity.
One Weak Moment
Mark recorded what Jesus had to say about the contents of a human heart. It’s not pretty:
Evil thoughts adulteries fornications murders
But we get pretty good at hiding those things.
Until we have a weak moment.
A moment when you’re angry. A moment when you’ve had a bad day, and the frustration pops out at the slightest provocation.
Maybe you meet up with someone who hurt you, and the bitterness spouts all sorts of cruelty that they “deserve” after the way they treated you.
Another time you’re weak is when exhaustion plagues your mind and body.
Don’t forget the example of Jesus. When did Satan come to tempt him? When he was hungry. And if the tempter understood that would be the Son of God’s weakest moment, those Snickers commercials might be true.
You truly aren’t yourself when your stomach is growling, your blood sugar has dropped and your cells are screaming for nourishment.
Our weak moments can be plentiful.
One Hurtful Word
“For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders” Mark 7:21
Our heart’s true nature can be seen in our actions, for sure. But the most common way we reveal it is through what we say.
The tongue is such a small part of our anatomy, but it can land us in big trouble (James 3:3)
Jesus brother James goes on to describe the tongue as 1) a fire 2) a world of iniquity (James 3:6); 3) an unruly evil; and 4) full of deadly poison (James 3:8).
Do you let a fire burn anywhere? Even if it’s confined in a firepit, it still requires constant monitoring. All it takes is one little spark landing in a dry patch of grass and suddenly we need to fire department’s help to get it under control.
“The tongue can no man tame” – James 3:8a
This is why our tongues display the contents of our heart so easily. Both of them are wretched and fallen. They are broken implements in a world full of shattered people.
It sounds like doing and saying the right thing is impossible.
And without Christ it is.
Next week, we’ll talk about how to get a heart transplant. And how that will help us tame the beast of our tongue.