A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. A tree is identified by its fruit. Figs are never gathered from thornbushes, and grapes are not picked from bramble bushes. A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart. Luke 6:43-45
Jesus’ words here resonate with me. I like what he’s saying. Good fruit. Bad fruit. It makes sense and I’m in agreement (as if it matters that I agree). I like the language of a good person and an evil person. Surely, I am a good person…
I know I have things to work on and certainly all of my “fruit” isn’t good, but most of it is, right? This particular passage doesn’t cause me too much concern until I get to the end. I’m feeling pretty good about it and then I read these words:
What you say flows from what is in your heart.
I say a lot of things I don’t like to hear myself saying. I say a lot of things I regret. I speak and the words reveal my selfishness, my anger, my pettiness. Perhaps these words cut particularly deep in light of my recent need to seek forgiveness from my son for words I shouldn’t have said. Is anything harder than going to your own child and admitting wrong and seeking forgiveness from them?
What you say flows from what is in your heart. It is all too telling—these words I speak. And I don’t like the ramifications. I like to dismiss things I say. I like to excuse careless words.
I didn’t really mean it.
I’m just tired right now.
You shouldn’t take things so personally.
That sounded better in my head.
You just took that the wrong way.
The list goes on and on, but the reality is far more simple: what I say flows out of what is in my heart. And my heart is my treasury. It reveals what I truly value. Unfortunately, what I usually value turns out to be me and mine and not much else. My words betray me. In subtle ways they reveal that even the good I do is small in comparison to the treasury of my heart, which is often being drawn to things of this world and things of my gain and things of anything but what is good.
But we are not without hope! Thankfully, we have a God who rescues. A God who changes hearts. May these Psalms can be your prayer for a changed heart and lips that reveal a treasury of God, not ourselves.
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
Point out anything in me that offends you,
and lead me along the path of everlasting life.
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.