Can your mind be read?

Pr. 23:7:  “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.”

Sometimes we trick ourselves into believing that our thoughts can’t harm anyone.  No one knows about them, after all.  We can think what we want, no one will be the wiser, and we can put on whatever face for others that we need to.

The truth is, however, that our thoughts will eventually show.  Maybe it’s the way we react to someone or something.  Maybe it’s the way we greet someone. Perhaps it’s a choice we make that when our guard is down.

Most often, though, our thoughts break out in our words.  It can happen at any time.  In fact, in Luke 6:45, Jesus said, “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”

We may be able to fake it for a while, but what is really in our hearts will eventually come out of our mouths.  This is why we must feed ourselves good things.  Paul told the Philippians to meditate on things that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, praiseworthy, and that have virtue.  Those things will definitely put good treasure within our hearts.  When that happens, then the abundance that comes out of our mouths won’t be anything we should have to worry about.

What has been coming out of your mouth or been typed by your fingers?  Those things are coming from the abundance of your heart.  They are indicators as to what your heart is full of.

So what do you think in your heart?  That is who you are.  Is that statement upsetting?  Perhaps this is the time to begin meditating on new things. The word of God is a good place to start.

It’s like when the indicator light is on in our car.  We know it’s time to get something fixed.  It happens.  We all have to examine the indicators in our lives from time to time.  We just need to be responsible enough to admit that something needs fixed.

We can then go boldly to the throne of grace in our time of need and find the mercy and grace we need to help to make the changes that need to be made.  The Lord can renew our minds and create within us clean hearts once again.

Renewed,

jamie

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Guard that mouth

Pr. 13:3:  “He who guards his mouth preserves his life, but he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction.”

Not every thought that passes through our minds needs to be spoken. 

A few years ago, I learned this affirmation from Bishop David L. Kemp.  It’s worth sharing.

I shall T-H-I-N-K before I speak by asking the following:

T-Is it true?

H-Is it helpful?

I-Is it inspiring?

N-Is it needed?

K-Is it kind? 

If you cannot answer yes to all of those questions, then don’t say it.

Lord, help us to THINK before we open wide our lips.

Daily reminded,

jamie

Carefully feeding your teacher

Pr. 16:23:  “The heart of the wise teaches his mouth, and adds learning to his lips.”

Last time we talked about how filling our hearts with righteous things would help ensure our chances of speaking righteousness over transgression.

Proverb 16:23 reminds us that our hearts actually teach our mouths and add learning to our lips.  The things with which we are filling our hearts are teaching us.  They may be teaching us good and righteous things, but they could also be teaching us harmful/sinful things.

There is a particular music group that I cannot listen to.  I love their music!  Their style is fun, the tunes are catchy, and their voices blend in a harmony that pleases me deep in my soul.  I’m not the only one, either.  They are very popular.  The lyrics; however, are not exactly conducive to my Christian walk.  They sing about things I shouldn’t be thinking about, but I get those catchy songs in my mind and can’t quit singing them throughout the day.

As I sing those lyrics, those thoughts begin to take root within me and I find myself become discontented with my current walk.  I begin to think about the scenarios they create with their music and my flesh reacts to those thoughts.  I also feel my flesh begin to justify the sinful thoughts.  They’re popular songs, afterall.  It’s just the norm, right?

Those singers aren’t awful people, and I’ve certainly heard worse lyrics before.  I know my limits; however, so I in order to keep my heart from teaching my lips to sing those harmful/sinful things, I have to intentionally avoid this music.  (Not always easy.  I actually find myself sometimes craving those tunes.)

If we want to speak righteous things, and we understand our hearts teach our mouths, then it’s logical that we make intentional decisions in our lives.  We must be careful to fill our hearts with righteous things and to avoid those things we know are filling our hearts with harmful/sinful thoughts.

Even if it’s hard and unpopular, we must guard our hearts.  If we do, then we can be sure that the Lord can speak through us.

Carefully choosing,

jamie

 

The flowing brook

Pr. 18:4:  “The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters; the wellspring of wisdom is a flowing brook.”

We are not born wise.  Just this morning, as my children began their day and sat down for breakfast and a Saturday morning TV show, my daughter was rude to my son 3 times in about 3 minutes.  Him making a noise was the reason she couldn’t count.  His coughing, with his mouth covered, meant he was coughing on her.  Her putting her finger in his face was just a joke.  Apparently this is the day when she is entitled and everything he does is absolutely wrong.

I had to remind her that her attitude was showing that her heart was not housing kindness or love, and invited her to pray about it and stop, or go back to bed.  She is still sitting at the table with us, so I am hoping that means that wisdom is taking over.  Time will tell.

There were a few verses in Pr. 18 that would have been appropriate with this situation, but I like this one best.  I like the positive note of this particular verse.

It is true that the words of our mouths come from deep places.  The deep, secret places of our hearts contain what we truly feel and believe.  Out of those places, flow the words we speak.  It is clear that deep in my daughter’s heart right now there are places of pride, selfishness, bitterness, and dishonesty.  Now, not to pick on my baby girl (who just yesterday offered to buy the same brother a new Batman sword as he cried over the pieces of the one he had just broken) the same could probably be said of any of us.  We are all imperfect in our flesh.  We live in a fallen, sin-cursed world and will not be perfect until the Lord makes all things new.

What is encouraging to me is that with time, experience, study, prayer, and teaching, we can become people whose hearts are filled with more and more of God.  As we read the Beatitudes over and over, we are reminded that the peacemakers, the merciful, the meek, and the pure are blessed.  Spending years of our lives in submission to God reminds us that He is ultimately in control and will fulfill our every need.  Filling our hearts with His love, His wisdom, His percepts, and His promises cleanses the deep places and purifies the waters.

As our hearts become more full of God and less full of ourselves, His wisdom can take over and the brook that will flow from our mouths will indeed be a wellspring of the wisdom deep inside.  If you’re not perfect today, take heart, each moment that you spend with God purifies you deep inside.  The wellspring within you grows purer and holds more Living Water.  Until we are made new, we will never be perfect, but God can use us now to be a wellspring for those around us.

Cheers!

jamie

 

 

Don’t push your garnish aside

Pr. 8:8:  “All the words of my mouth are with righteousness; nothing crooked or perverse is in them.”

Do you remember when almost every plate of food you were served in a restaurant had a sprig of parsley on the side?  It was not just added to make the plate look pretty and add some color.  After your meal, you could chew on the parsley to freshen up your mouth and aid in digestion.

This verse about wisdom reminds me of that parsley garnish.  There are so many undesirable things that surround us, with which we can fill our mouths.  We can choose to allow rank, sour, and noxious words to pour forth from our mouths, or we can choose to seek the wisdom and will of the Lord and freshen ourselves up.

Wisdom has nothing crooked or perverse in its mouth.  All the words of wisdom are fresh, pure, and excellent.  But remember what Jesus said about what comes out of the mouth…it is what has been stored up in the heart.  You must be intentionally storing wisdom, fear and love of the Lord, and a desire to do God’s will in order for your mouth to bring forth fresh words.

How do you do that?  Read and study God’s word.  Delight yourself in Him and obey His precepts.  Pray and spend time in the presence of the Lord.  Allow yourself to submit to His will and the leading of the Holy Spirit.  When you are so full of God that you cannot move without Him, the words that pour forth from your mouth will be refreshing springs of living waters that reach out to everyone around you.

Don’t push aside wisdom, as many pushed aside their garnish.  Savor and enjoy the wisdom of the Lord.  Not only will it help you digest this life in a more satisfying way, but it will be pleasant and delightfully fragrant to those around you who need a breath of fresh air.

Freshening up,

jamie

The lips of the righteous

Pr. 10:32:  “The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable, but the mouth of the wicked what is perverse.”

When my daughter was little I read Pr. 10:32 and decided that I would use that as the saying for my kids.  “The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable.”  My daughter has heard that a lot.

The funny thing?  We know its true.  We absolutely know what acceptable words are to come out of our mouths and what unacceptable things shouldn’t.

God calls us to choose to speak what is acceptable.  He calls us to think on things that are lovely, pure, noble, and praiseworthy.  He reminds us that the mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom.  He urges us to restrain our lips.  Out of our mouths comes the overflow of our hearts, so we’re reminded that its a heart issue.  God can help with that.

When we trust in Him, we will be safe, and others will be blessed.  If in doubt, either don’t speak, or speak the Word of God.  His word never returns to Him void.

Be careful little mouths what you say,

jamie

Are you making your foolishness known?

Pr. 14:33:  “Wisdom rests in the heart of him who has understanding, but what is in the heart of fools is made known.”

When we have true wisdom, we do not need to parade it around, shout it from the rooftops, and make sure that everyone with whom we come into contact knows all about it.  True wisdom rests.  True wisdom is stored up in the soul waiting for the appropriate moment to arise.  When most needed, wisdom will pour forth from the heart of the one storing it up.

Not everyone needs to hear our “wisdom.”  Fools blurt out anything they know at any moment to any person.  Discretion and discernment are far from the heart of fools.

When I was young, I knew a girl who was one of the meanest people I have ever met.  I remember a moment when she was upset and crying and telling me over and over, “I am a nice person.”  I had heard her say that before, and as I sat there, just listening, all I could think was, “I think if you’re really a nice person you don’t have to tell people it is so.  They would just know.”

I think this verse describes wisdom the same way.  If we truly have wisdom, we don’t have to say so or make sure everyone knows about all the wisdom we think we have.  It will seep out calmly and naturally in conversation…or it won’t, it will come out in the exact moment when it’s needed, or it may surprise you.

1 Cor. 2 talks about a hidden wisdom that lies inside those who are led by the Holy Spirit.  He reveals to us the things of God.  We do not think them up on our own…in our own amazing wisdom.  In fact, it reminds us that to those without the Holy Spirit, the things of God seem like foolishness.

Let’s spend a season storing up wisdom in our hearts and let our mouths rest a bit.  The Holy Spirit will speak to you when you are in the Word and in prayer and reveal to you the things of God.  He will store up those things He reveals in your heart, if you allow it.  When the appropriate moment comes along, He will let you know to speak.  Instead of spouting off everything you know, wisdom will pour from your lips and will be the soothing balm or the exact word someone was needing.

Storing up,

jamie