I had the opportunity to share some thoughts on words at a church in California last weekend. Words have been on mind.
Which is partly why I find the following to be so fascinating:
Our two-year old daughter is growing more and more verbal with each passing day, but still struggles to fully express herself, the way that toddlers struggle with their emerging vocabularies. It can be frustrating at times. Super cute at others. And, incredible enlightening as well.
For example, whenever Marina is struggling with her attitude, or obedience, or just general human politeness we will ask her:
“Where are your manners?”
“Where is your happy heart?”
And she will point to her tongue and say: “Mouth.”
This, as I mentioned, is super cute. It is also deeply profound.
In fact, I think there is a proverb about this: [I actually enjoy the King James version here.]
“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” [Pr. 4:23]
I also think Jesus had something to say about this:
“…for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” [Luke 6:45]
Many times we are asked to examine our hearts. And this is a good and worthwhile practice. But, perhaps we also need to examine our words. Because our words reveal what is in our hearts.
So what are you talking about? What are you complaining about? What are you dwelling on? What subject can you never drop? What conversation do you always find yourself in? Are your words bringing life and joy and peace, or death and frustration?
Where is your happy heart? Check your mouth!