Journal Matt 12 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: (Jesus, making the comparison with the Pharisees who were implying that Jesus is a minion of Lucifer…) “Either make the tree good and (subsequently) its fruit good or make the tree bad and its fruit bad—for the tree is known by its fruit.
You brood of vipers! How can you speak good when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.
(Jesus clarifying) The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account of every careless word they speak—for by your words you will be justified and by your words you will be condemned.” Matt 12:33-37
Observation: To use the jargon of our day: Get your head on straight and drag your mouth along with it. Either something is Good, or it is Bad. Binary selection, black or white.
For confessing believers, is the heart filled with good treasure or evil? What am I packing my heart with?
Analysis: Ever pay attention to the relationship the mouth/tongue has with the heart? The Holy Spirit doesn’t mince words about the subject.
“For out of the ABUNDANCE of the heart the MOUTH speaks…” Flip it and the scripture reads: “The mouth speaks what is in the heart.” It is as close to a word equation as you can find in the Bible; “If this, then that.”
I can bring in the categories for comparison. The easy ones? Fruit lists:
Works of the flesh: Sexual immorality; impurity; sensuality; idolatry; sorcery; enmity (hate, animosity, etc.); strife; jealousy; fits of anger (not just anger, popping off in anger); rivalries; dissensions; divisions; envy; drunkenness; orgies, and things like these. (Gal 5:19b-21a)
Fruit of the Spirit: Love; joy; peace; patience; kindness; goodness; faithfulness; gentleness; self-control. (Gal 5:22-23a)
There is more definition about Good talk and Evil talk, Good heart and Evil heart in Proverbs, James, and through the Bible. But the broad point to make for all of us that want to pay attention to a Walk in Christ is: What is on the inside comes out of the mouth eventually. What I hear myself saying is the Heart condition I need to address – the indwelling sin.
The point that I am discovering is that it isn’t enough just to keep my yap shut (although that isn’t a bad start), it is breaking the speech down and identifying what is behind it – and then systematically putting sin to death. (Ro 8:13)
I see this in myself and it is difficult to deal with. It is not fleshy work (like I am doing this on my own) but my Human Responsibility in Christ – working in concert and with primary dependence upon the Holy Spirit to get the Godly results He desires in me and I want to give to Him.
Prayer: Lord, thanks for that last little bit of thought above. It is imperative that I put aside the lazy thinking of “growth by osmosis in Your Spirit.”