Speaking from What Fills Our Hearts
“For there is no good tree which produces bad fruit, nor, on the other hand, a bad tree which produces good fruit. For each tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they pick grapes from a briar bush. The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good, and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.” (Luke 6:43-45, NASB)
I think, more than any other verse in the Bible, this is the verse I most try to live by. We’ve had many people share their “life verse” through Soul Deep, and today I want to share mine.
When I was about 13 years old, I committed my life to the Lord. I’m not talking about the sinner’s prayer or inviting Jesus into my heart– that moment came much earlier. And if you’re like me and grew up in church, attending every Sunday school class and knowing every hand-sign that went along with every song, then you know what I’m talking about. For me, there was a moment of salvation– a moment of encountering Jesus for the first time– and a moment where I had to decide to make my relationship
with Jesus real.
I was 13 and the Lord had spoken to me in a very real way. He told me that I could choose to live for Him and get to experience Him in a very intimate and meaningful way, or I could choose to pursue the world, with all its careers and bright, shiny promises, and blend into the crowd. He told me it wouldn’t be easy; that choosing to be with Him would often put me in situations where I found myself standing alone or uncomfortable.
I won’t lie: I weighed the options. I really thought and prayed about it. I considered both sides: I could live conveniently and have a life with all the boxes safely checked or I could decide to never miss a moment with my Creator, which would probably leave me in some difficult positions at times and challenge my comfort zone. I’m sure it goes without saying since you’re reading my words today, but I ended up choosing Him.
So fast forward a little over 10 years, and I can say that the Lord has kept all the promises He made me as a tween. Now I’m a woman, trying to navigate another life-transition altogether– becoming a functioning and confident adult– and I still find that Luke 6:43-45 is able to redirect and re-center my heart on that decision I made all those years ago to love Jesus above all.
Here’s the gist of it: Good and evil cannot coexist. We know this; it’s the most basic of all lessons in the Bible. So a good person cannot find evil within themselves and continue to condone it with a clear conscience. Likewise, an evil person cannot produce good things that are not tainted by the evil they practice. As Christians, we love to talk about fruit. Do we have fruit? How much do we have? Is the fruit that we produce pleasing to the Lord? In plain-speak, we are concerned over whether our lives create a legacy that indicates that we’ve lived our lives for Christ. We want to live a life that constantly points back to the One who died to save us, and fruit is the evidence that we’re on the right track.
And while this discussion of living a fruitful life is important, when I read these verses, I find it all a precursor to what Jesus says in verse 45: your mouth will speak out of whatever is found in your heart.
This is the thing that I am constantly reminding myself. Because if I am speaking negativity or gossip out of my mouth, then that is an indication that I haven’t been filling my heart with good. It shows me I’ve been less vigilant about what I’m allowing myself to come in contact with, whether that be music I listen to, television I watch, or people I spend my time with. And when I become lackadaisical about the things I allow to fill my heart, I stop modeling the life I chose to live. I stop glorifying God and I fall out of communion with Him.
And I’ve found my heart on many occasions in need of a clean-up. There’s no shame in that, in fact, that’s the very reason I try to live by this verse. Because if my heart needs to be refilled with more of Jesus, then I can course-correct my choices. But if I can honestly say that the things I’m speaking are in line with glorifying God, then I can take it as a good indication that my spiritual life and devotion is in a good place.
Ultimately, the things that fill your heart will come spilling out of your mouth, and if those things are gossip, complaining, or negativity, you will most likely turn people off from Christ or drive them away. If you’re not turning people to Jesus through your tongue and your lifestyle, then you probably won’t see strong spiritual fruit, if you even see any. But if the things you say are based in Jesus, then your fruit will reflect that. It is the proof that your heart is filled with His word, His scripture, and His character.
I constantly want to remind myself to fill my heart with good, so that the words I speak will fall in line with that, and the people that come in contact with me will turn to the Jesus that changed my life eleven years ago.
And for a self-proclaimed “words girl” and writer, I think it’s important that the Holy Spirit in my heart should be the first editor for any work I put pen to paper for.
Thank you for giving me a scripture that will constantly remind me to check my heart. Thank you for leaving me a beautiful verse to live by and model my life in the shadow of. Continue to keep me in this place. Search my heart today. Show me the things I say or write that don’t glorify you and point to the root of the issue in my heart. Give me the strength to forfeit anything that affects my ability to come into communion with you. Convict me to let go of those attitudes and habits that turn my heart away from you. I realign my mind, heart, and soul to your beautiful character and I ask that you would forgive me for allowing my heart to come off course.
You are my everything, Jesus, and I love that you are so passionate for me that you would still choose me, still pursue me, and still love me.
Talk to you later, Cortney