I once heard a saying by Ravi Zacharias which deals with the relationship of what is inside of us and what comes out of us. He said:
“When you are bumped, what you are full of spills out.”
Pretty sobering, is it not? In other words, you can really tell what is inside of a person – what the condition of their heart is – based on what comes out of them when they encounter the “bumps” of life.
Jesus expressed the same philosophy to the Pharisees when, in Matthew 12:34-36, he says,
“Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment.”
That last statement is particularly frightening in that it ties every single word that escapes the confines of our lips to the day of judgment when we stand before Christ our King. The words that we say, and the manner in which we say them, reveal far more than simply how we feel “in the heat of the moment”. Jesus tells us that they actually spring forth out of the evil that is harbored within us.
Not too long ago, I had an instance where what came out of me frightened me. I had, just a few months prior, received the gracious gift of an ipad from my congregation, which was quickly employed in most every arena of my life. One day, without thinking, I set it down on the driver’s seat of our van. Then, like children do, my kids began barreling out of the car like an angry herd of rhinos. One child performed a high-quality knee drop right on the screen, immediately and irreversibly sending a crack from one end to the other. I became almost enraged for some reason, and instantly sought to discipline my child. Suddenly, the Spirit spoke to me in that moment. “Why are you so angry about that material possession that you didn’t even purchase to begin with? Aren’t you the one that thoughtlessly and carelessly placed it in the chair?” My reaction frightened me because it caused a light to shine in this dark place in my heart. Luckily, rather than immediately discipline my child out of anger, I repented before the Lord of this “evil treasure” in my heart.
What spills out of you when you are bumped? What reaction springs forth from the depths of your soul when you don’t get your way? What is the response of your heart in those moments when your will collides with the will of God, or even with the will of your fellow man? The sharp rebuke received by the Pharisees from Jesus had everything to do with the inner condition of their heart before their Lord, and this condition was evident based on the words they said and the manner in which they were spoken.
Each of could spend more time, I am sure, in the presence of the Lord repenting of the idle words which all too often roll off our sometimes forked tongues. Go before Christ and ask Him and plead with Him to fill you up with His precious Holy Spirit so that, when the inevitable and inescapable bumps of life collide with you, that it is His Spirit and that alone which spills out of you and not some “evil treasure” of the flesh.
Each week this blog will be updated with a word for the week from my current studies.