Originally Posted by Mike Young May 2005
What does it mean to have “life to the full”?
When I pondered the concept of the full life further, another thought came to mind. I remembered something about the words we speak being a reflection of what fills our hearts. I started searching and found the verse. “For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.” is part of Luke 6:45. Now there’s a statement that will make you stop and think…
- What can people learn about me from what I say?
- What is in my heart?
- What difference does it make?
- Should I pay more attention to what I say?
Perhaps we should pause from time to time to think about what we say and how we say it. I know guys don’t like to think about things like this, but we should. Like it or not, what you say, not only with your words but your tone and body language, may affect another’s attitude and/or behavior in a way you did not intend.
Often I have seen dads correct their children in ways that crush the spirits of the little ones. I have done it myself, felt terrible after seeing the impact of my words and had to apologize. Then there are times when I see fathers very patiently but directly correct their children in a way that encourages and builds them up. I want to do this but sometimes I fail. When I do, I need to stop and check my heart. What has filled my heart and has just now overflowed from my mouth?
This concept doesn’t just apply to your children. Give some thought to how you talk to your wife, co-workers, employees, parents and acquaintances. I believe that one can be direct, emphatic and even forceful when necessary without being offensive. We need to try to make sure there is a measure of grace and love mixed with all our words. That’s hard to do if your heart is filled to overflowing with anger, stress, anxiety, disgust, vulgarity or profanity at the moment.
What’s in your heart is going to spill out.
The key then is to fill your heart with the good stuff. Work daily to get rid of the junk in your heart and replace it with the right stuff. Read your Bible, do something for someone else, have some quiet time with God, listen to Christian music, read a book or magazine about Christian living, spend some time in fellowship with men who will inspire you to move closer to God, not farther away. Above all, pray for God to show you how to clean up your heart, then do what he says. Here’s an example:
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Ps. 139:23-24