“Your tongue is your heart. If you let it loose it will betray you.”
A few weeks ago I was watching a new series on TV wherein one of the characters is having an inner struggle. So far, in every episode his character had displayed behavior that would lead one to easily surmise that he is void of any moral fiber or decency. Though he was a king and ruler, it was clear that he used his position of privilege to deprive others of their human dignity, their lives if he willed it, just because he could.
In a rare moment he is wrestling with his conscience — his inner demons if you will — and it seems that he is having a genuine moment of contrition followed by words that appeared to express sorrow and remorse over how he’d thus far lived his life.
But his face and his body language are screaming another message. His face was twisted with agitation and anger as he pondered the people’s response to what would be his seemingly sincere apology for his severe actions against them. His body grew more and more restless as he drew near the place where he’d make his very public apology to the people he (and his father before him) had wronged for decades.
As this entire scene plays out, his loyal, yet hard-hearted, wife sits at his side watching the war within. Then she says, “Be careful, your tongue is your heart. If you let it loose it will betray you.”
God’s Word clearly speaks regarding the heart and the tongue, both positive and negative: Here are a few:
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? ~Jeremiah 17:9
But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. ~Romans 2:5
But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person…Matthew 15:18-20a
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. ~Psalm 51:10
“I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.” ~Jeremiah 17:10
Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. ~Proverbs 4:23
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. ~Hebrews 4:12
I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned. ~Matthew 12:36-37
And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. ~James3:6-10
In the above scene the wife knows that the struggle isn’t genuine. She sees that the flesh of her husband wants what it wants for its own pleasure and satisfaction. She knows that he won’t be able to fake what’s truly in his heart.
So, the question today is: how is your heart? And does your tongue follow your sinful human heart or does it follow hard after the God of your salvation? Is it more and more becoming a thing of beauty, speaking the truth in love to the glory of the One who sits on the Throne, reigning over heaven and earth?
Stephanie serves as part of the Addiction Recovery Team at America’s Keswick as Director of Women of Character. She has been married for over 30 years to Sesky Paul who is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy. They have two adult children, a son James, and a daughter, Joyia (with the Lord). Her single focus in ministry at Keswick is to image Christ in grace and truth to wounded and hurting women, encouraging them to make Jesus the truest Lover of their soul and the One in whom all hope lies.