HELP ME TO WATCH MY WORDS AS I WATCH MY HEART
Romans 3:13-14 Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit. The poison of vipers is on their lips.  Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.
According to Luke 6:45, the words we say reflect the spiritual condition of our hearts. More and more I understand that my attitudes shape my thoughts and my words. When I stuff issues and refuse to work through conflicts, my words become bitter and attacking. Disagreements and anger allowed to linger affect how I perceive my world. It’s like looking through a colored lens that changes the color of everything around me.
Today’s Scripture refers to the throat as a tunnel from the heart to the tongue. It is an open “grave”—a place of death for those whose heart is continually evil. The words of these transgressors are poison to everyone; they are full of deception, cursing, bitterness, and death. Their antagonism reflects a heart that is out of fellowship with God—a heart that has allowed darkness to overshadow good.
I prefer to think this verse refers only to non-believers; however, all of us fall short of God’s best (Romans 3:10). 1 John 1:8 tells us that there is no one without sin. And, my experience convinces me that I have the capacity to build bitterness and anger in my heart even though I am a child of God. If I allow darkness to shadow my heart, it will tinge my outlook on life. And, my mouth will reveal my heart’s condition through unkind, thoughtless words.
Bitter and angry words warn me of the need to make my heart right with God and my fellowman. I must put on humility and submit myself before God’s throne. I then allow Him to cleanse my heart so that my words become pure. With God’s unlimited power, with His mercy and His grace, He changes my heart and renews my mind because of my repentance.
As we daily walk upright before God, taking the log out of our own eye, we will be able to help our students get their splinters out too (Matthew 7:3-5). In other words, teachers who continually cleanse their hearts before the Lord will be better prepared to help their students see their need for restoration with their friends, parents and teachers.
DEAR GOD—HELP ME TO QUICKLY RECOGNIZE THE TIMES WHEN MY HEART BEGINS TO BE FILLED WITH BITTERNESS AND ANGER. I WANT TO COMMIT MYSELF TO KEEPING SHORT ACCOUNTS WITH MY FELLOWMAN AND WITH YOU. LET MY WORDS BE PURE AND PLEASANT AS YOU PURIFY MY HEART ONCE AGAIN.
Check in next week for another weekly devotion.
Copyright © 2002-2013 by Elderine Wyrick
Polishing the Apple
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Wyrick, Elderine (2002-2013). "Article/Devotion Title" in Polishing the Apple, www.teacherdevotion.com.
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