Tuesday, November 1, 2016

The Tongue - Week 2

"Be careful what you think,
    because your thoughts run your life."

Proverbs 4:23 (New Century Version)

I'm sure this won't be the last time you hear someone say the that things translated into English sometimes have their meanings shrunk down to fit the language.  In some languages one word may have multiple meanings or nuances and yet be limited to just one word in English.  In the Bible there are many words like that.  The words heart, soul, mind, and spirit have overlapping meanings in the Bible unlike English.  In English, the mind does the thinking, the heart does the feeling, etc.  If you would like to study these Biblical words deeper and get a clearer picture of what I'm talking about, here are two links that may help you:

In our lessons about the tongue it is important to remember that God is not primarily interested in the words that are coming out of our mouths.  God wants us to understand that the words coming out of our mouths are words from our hearts.

Here is the NIV (New International Version) of the verse in the box at the top of the page.  "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it."  Not only do the words in our hearts flow out of our mouths, they flow into our actions. 

Jesus had something to say on this same topic.  He uses a tree to illustrate his point.

"For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thorn bushes; nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. Luke 6:43-45

What is the determining factor in a life of good or bad actions or a mouth filled with good or evil?  You can find the answer in the short Proverbs verse in chapter 4:23.  "Be careful what you think" or another way of saying it from the NIV - "guard your heart".

Think of some ways you can begin to guard your heart?  If thinking in those terms feels awkward or clunky, maybe you can think about it this way.  What kinds of things influence how you think and feel?

If you are willing to put the time and effort into guarding your heart, the Bible has some words of  encouragement for you.  They are found in Proverbs 16:23.  Here they are in two different versions of the Bible:

New King James Version (NKJV)  " The heart of the wise teaches his mouth, And adds learning to his lips."
New Century Version (NCV) " Wise people’s minds tell them what to say, and that helps them be better teachers."

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