A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. (Luke†6:45)
I am convinced, the greatest problem facing our churches is NOT a financial problem, not an attendance problem, not a preaching problem or a teaching problem; it is a heart problem. Thatís right ĖGodís people are suffering from a serious heart problem. Murmuring, back-biting, gossiping, grumbling and complaining are all outward symptoms of an inward disease: a heart problem. They show the heartís true state; those who indulge in these things have a critical, fault-finding spirit, and it shows. They speak what is in their hearts, ďfor of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.Ē
Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; (Phil. 2:14-15)
Words have power; if they didnít, businesses would not spend billions of dollars each year on advertising. They know they power of words. Our words can edify, or build up, or our words can tear down and destroy. They can be very harmful, causing a weaker Christian to stumble or lose faith, or causing a division among the body of Christ, the church. Careless words can cause a lost person to doubt Godís Word, doubt the providence and provison of God for His people, mock or cast doubt on Christianity, or even malign the name of God. Our words can be very harmful, if we arenít careful. And once spoken, words can never be unspoken. They can circulate again and again. They can be repeated, twisted and turned, and used to tear down and destroy Godís church, instead of building up and nurturing it.
Our words matter: what we say reflects the conditions of our hearts. If we cannot learn to control our speech, we can cause conflicts and further dissention. We can do great harm to Godís name, and to His people. We can ruin our witness to the lost world around us. We can tear down and destroy, rather than building up and making things better. Letting God cleanse our hearts and control our tongues offers great rewards here and now, as well as heavenly rewards later.
For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. (1 Peter 3:10-11)