Heart and Speech

The Lord looks at the heart (1 Samuel 16:7). Good looks and smooth words don’t fool God. “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me” Matthew 15:8. Do not be a hypocrite. If you want to be righteous, then draw near to God with both heart and speech.

God is omniscient (Psalm 139), he knows all and cannot be fooled. The Word made all things (John 1:2), he knows all and cannot be fooled. Wicked men are always trying to fool God, as well as their peers. Christians need to avoid being deceived by the smooth words of wicked men. Be like God, be holy and do not be deceived by false words. Do not be deceived into thinking that righteousness is merely eloquent speech. It require much, much more. Righteousness requires a renewed heart.

The Lord is Holy and is not fooled by wicked, smooth words, nor should the righteous. Therefore, consider the words of men carefully. Words are weighty and ought to be carefully considered. Words are weighty, so the righteous ought to use speech carefully. “The tongue of the just is as choice silver: the heart of the wicked is little worth” Proverbs 10:20. The wicked do not consider the weight of their words; their hearts are of little worth. They do not understand that words and reality are intimately linked.

Consider the power of words. With words a Pastor declares that a man and woman have just been made “husband and wife”. That is powerful. The Pastor didn’t make them “husband and wife”, God did that. But what the Pastor is doing is declaring the truthfulness, that is, the objective fact of what has just occurred; he has declared that now they truly are “husband and wife,” whereas ten seconds ago they were not. This is what happens during Christian Baptism too. God saves you, not water and not the Pastor sprinkling it on your head. Your body was just baptized, that means something. Your wet, baptized body is an image, it is a picture. Pictures function like words in that they say something about reality. Your wet, baptized body is saying, “I’ve died with Christ, therefore, I will be raised with Christ and I will be saved from my sins…my body will not be abandoned to the grave because God grants eternal life to those who trust in him.”

God is not haphazard with words, nor should we be. Therefore, if you want to be righteous, then you should pray to God and ask him to transform your heart and speech. Heart and speech are not the sum of righteousness, however, it is helpful to think about them as grammar or building blocks for holy living.