The Heart of Communication

The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks. Luke 6:45 (NIV)

This is an incredibly convicting verse for me. There are so many times I say things that I don’t want to mean! There are so many times I want to declare that I didn’t mean what I said in the heat of the moment, but I cannot. The above verse and its companion verse below make it so very painfully clear that when I speak I am revealing the stuff that is lurking in my heart. It is a very unhappy realization.

But evil words come from an evil heart and defile the person who says them. For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all other sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander. Matthew 15:18-19 (NLT)

Do you understand what each of these verses say? For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks. Evil words come from an evil heart….How evil are your words?

I guess that means each of us has a “heart condition” we never thought of before. Have you ever thought about the condition of your heart before? Most people haven’t and they aren’t even sure what “the heart” is! The heart is the immaterial part of each of us that includes your thought, beliefs, emotions, desires, feelings, intentions, and mind. It is the control center of who you are.

The Bible is clear about our heart condition.

“The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it? Jeremiah 17:9 (NKJV)

The way you communicate is a reflection of what is in your heart. Because the heart is deceitful we don’t realize how sinful we really are, and because the hearts is deceitful we are very good at lying to ourselves!

Many people are referred to as having a big heart, or a good heart but Scripture says this is simply not true. In fact, the deceitful heart is bent on satisfying “me”, what I want, having my own way, living life for my pleasures with “me” at the center of my world. What is at the heart level is what is guiding your thoughts, beliefs, and desires and directly affects communication.

Jesus took the opportunity to speak to the attitudes of the heart when He was questioned by the Pharisees (who were the religious leaders of His day) about pure foods and ceremonial hand-washing. These Pharisees were giving Jesus all kinds of grief about his disciples not following these rituals. This is His wise reply:

“Can’t you see that what you eat won’t defile you? Food doesn’t come in contact with your heart, but only passes through the stomach and then comes out again.” (By saying this, he showed that every kind of food is acceptable.) And then he added, “It is the thought-life that defiles you. For from within, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, eagerness for lustful pleasure, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. All these vile things come from within; they are what defile you and make you unacceptable to God.” Mark 7:18-23 (NLT)

So it is clear that if we ever want to make true changes to our communication habits then we have to begin in the heart and work outwards from there. If you just try and curb your tongue you will be successful for a while, but it won’t last. These changes must begin in the inner man and they will be demonstrated by a change in life.

Next time, we will continue our study in this very crucial area!