“For out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks”
“The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.”
“But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart,
and these defile them.” Matthew 15:18
What do those verses have to do with Orange Juice? Let’s take a step back. If you were to take a whole, unpeeled orange and squeeze it with all your strength, what would the result be? Right… the result would be orange juice; it wouldn’t be tomato juice or apple juice. Because an orange, or any fruit for that matter, can only give up what it has on the inside. Oranges make orange juice.
And so it with us humans; we do everything we can to keep our wrapper (the orange peel) tight around us, unblemished and intact, holding in all that there is about us; all that we are made of. Yet, let an unexpected life event come at us, applying a bit of pressure and it’s highly possible we might glimpse just a small tear in our wrapper. But for the most part, our insides are still intact; we’re still holding strong on the outside.
Apply a bit more pressure and you’ll likely see more of us spill out; a bit of juice and perhaps a tiny bit of pulp. But that stops as soon as the pressure stops and while our wrapper is wounded; it’s just a “flesh wound”.
At some point in nearly every life trails, tragedies, and ramifications of bad decisions, will close in and squeeze us and I mean really squeeze us. Add any of this to our daily lives; squeezing our wrapper tighter than ever and the result… what is in us is what comes out often times in a messy heap.
This begs the question… what is in you that is going to come out?
I have witnessed folks in total brokenness and complete helplessness and all that spills out of them is grace. But very often, I’ve seen the opposite; often I’ve witnessed vile and ugly come tumbling out.
Often do we witness the injured lash our verbally and physically at family, friends, and society in general of what has happening in their life. We’ve all seen it; and most of the time we explain it away, or justify it or respond to that behavior with, “I don’t blame them, they didn’t deserve that”, etc. And you’re right, no one deserves bad things to happen to them, things just happen – good and bad things happen to good and bad people.
My point here is this… Just as the orange can only give up what is inside of it when the pressure gets to be too much… so is it with us humans. We can only give up what is inside of us. Sometimes that’s grace, peace, and love… sometimes it is anger, bitterness, and rage.
And the there are a few individuals that what comes out of them is something so downright ugly and vile; that thing they have kept shoved down and locked away and this pressure has now forced it to the top and it is spewed out in response like a geyser and it is going to hit anyone in proximity. No one is safe from the ugliness.
It’s easy to give up grace when things are going perfectly. It something entirely different to give up grace when the truths of life come squeezing in from all sides.
Matthew 12:34 Jesus says, “For out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks”. In that single sentence, Jesus reminds us that what we say reveals what is in our heart. What kinds of words come from your mouth? Those words are a sign of what your heart is really like. You can’t solve your heart problem just by cleaning up your speech.
In Galatians 5:22, we learn about the Fruits of Holy Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. These fruits are manifest in the life of the believer through their faith and redemption, in and through Jesus Christ and through the indwelling of Holy Spirit. These gifts are character traits that are found in the nature of Jesus Christ. When we join our lives to Him, we take on the nature of Christ.
Consider the condition of your orange. Consider the condition of your fruit. Examine your words and your heart. Are your words filled with love, joy, peace and goodness or are they filled with hate, anger, rage, envy, bitterness or arrogance? When life happens, and it will happen, what is coming out of your heart?
Consider well this life – the here and now and into all eternity. Is it time to seek a new way? Is it time to invite peace, love, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control into your life. Is it time to stop the madness, stop the stress and striving? Is it time to lay it all down?
Is it time to ask Jesus to come into your life, to cleanse you of all the ugly and sins, and forgive and purify you of all that sin and baggage you hold onto so dearly?
Be filled with forgiveness and love and allow Holy Spirit to fill you with new attitudes and motives, and then your speech will be cleaned at its source… your heart.
“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.”
Scriptures marked NIV are taken from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION (NIV): Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®. Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™. Used by permission of Zondervan
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