“The mouth speaks what the heart is full of.”
-Gospel of Luke, Chapter 6, Verse 45.
I’ve been meditating on and thinking about that simple line. It may be only one verse, but it’s really convicting for who I am currently as a person. I swear like a trucker. I have a temper. I sometimes lose that temper, too. And because of that anger, I have said hurtful things in the past to people I am supposed to love. My mother. My sister. My ex-girlfriend Rachel. And probably too many other times and people to remember.
Up until today, I used to think cusswords were only cusswords, and that sometimes it’s a relief to swear. In some ways I still think it is a stress reliever to let the words fly every now and then. But I either never knew about this Bible verse, or had forgotten about it until today. And it is about so much more than watching one’s tongue.
I stumbled across it while watching The Gospel of Luke, an epic retelling of that Gospel on Netflix. Each of the four Gospels have been made into movies you can watch on Netflix. They’re simply called what they are (Gospel of Matthew, Gospel of Mark, Gospel of Luke, Gospel of John). These movies are long though. Roughly at least three hours long. But I find if you split them up into parts or sections, or find good stopping points, they’re enjoyable and enlightening to watch. I sometimes find them more entertaining than reading the Bible and doing things the old fashioned way. They’re brought to life by great actors and storytelling!
But that Bible verse was convicting for me. As someone who struggles with a temper and patience at times, when I heard “The mouth speaks what the heart is full of,” I had to ask myself, “That’s not me is it? I’m not a bad person, am I?” I try to do good things for other people. But I am a sinner who needs to improve on how I relate to others, and what I say.
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I sometimes don’t realize the kind of weight words carry. After all, they’re “just words” right? Boy, was I wrong. But in the same way we can really hurt people with what we say, we can lift them up and show them love and compassion as well with a kind or loving word or two. Pardon my French here, and go ahead and laugh if you want to, but I’ve gotta be straight: The saying “Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” is a load of bullshit. I have hurt people with certain things I have said. And I have been hurt by people with certain things they have said. But to hear Jesus Himself say that the words we say are basically a reflection of who we are as people, and they are a window into our character, it was an uncomfortable and convicting thought. I didn’t like what I saw in myself.
But that is usually the first small step in growing to become better versions of ourselves. We don’t like some aspect of who we are, and we try to become better. So while I may not be able to instantly stop swearing like a sailor from this point forward, I will at least try sincerely to be more mindful of how I come across, and what I say. It truly is interesting how we can glean a lot out of one small verse of Scripture, and see where we need to get better.
Link to Netflix Gospel of Luke movie: https://www.netflix.com/title/81035749
Gospel of Matthew movie: https://www.netflix.com/title/81035751
Gospel of Mark movie: https://www.netflix.com/title/81035750
Gospel of John movie: https://www.netflix.com/title/81035748