Out Of The Abundance of the Heart

“For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” — Jesus

We project to the outside world how we wish to be seen. We often wear masks. The mask was a widely used metaphor in the ancient Mediterranean world drawing from the method of Greek theater. Actors wore masks to switch characters.

Then sometimes the mask slips. What is really in our hearts slips out. Sometimes it’s an action. Sometimes it’s words. How often have neighbors and friends of serial killers said that he seemed like a nice quiet guy!

Local news reports from that court case in California about the young man who sexually assaulted the woman continue to flow with new discoveries. It seems the family mounted quite a campaign designed to mitigate any harsh sentencing (despite conviction on three felony counts).

A school guidance counselor, municipal court judge, business executive–all wrote letters saying he wasn’t a bad person and shouldn’t be sentenced. They probably thought that they could write on a public matter in secret. But words become public. And words betray the condition of your heart.

I have always loved John Ortberg’s description of Jesus as the first cardiologist. He was always interested in the state of your heart.

“Either make the tree good, and its fruit good; or make the tree bad, and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit.” –Jesus

Why should we develop spiritual practices as habits? Reading from the Bible daily? Meditation?

These “disciplines” actually help us keep our hearts in tune with the light. They change our physiology.

Lest some day we act in an unwise manner and find our photo on page 1 of the newspaper “above the fold.” Then the world sees our fruit and knows the state of our hearts.

Or we say hurtful things or stir up bad feelings in others. And it becomes public. And everyone can see where our hearts are focused.

What does your Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest stream say about you? Have you been uplifting of others? Or negative, nasty, and cynical. If the latter, it’s time to check in with the Cardiologist.

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