Written by Remaliah Evans
Silence is powerful. Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent and discerning if they hold their tongue (Proverbs 17:28 NIV). Learning to be quiet has kept me from much outside turmoil, however verbal silence does not always address the heart issues within. Holding our tongue is a first step toward maturity, not the end result. The mouth reveals the heart. As Jesus said, out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. What we say out loud and the inner dialogue we have with ourselves reveals our heart.
There are times when words escape my mouth, and I immediately wish I could take them back. I can’t. Instead of focusing on the misspoken words, I make a choice to look at my heart. I don’t always like what I see there, but that praise God that I am being transformed by Him everyday. As we take them time to look at our heart, God is faithful to reveal the areas in that need softening and healing.
King David gives us an excellent prayer regarding our heart. In Psalms 51:10 he prays “create in me a clean heart, Oh God and renew a right spirit within me.” That is a powerful prayer. David was well acquainted with sin and sin’s consequences, and he was crying out to God for help. We are to rely on God, His word, and the power of the Holy Spirit. It can be easy get offended or stay offended when we are not seeking God daily. Yet, it amazes me that when we do seek God daily, the offense still comes, however it is abundantly easier to forgive and walk in love.
When we fail we must choose get up and forgive as Jesus has so faithfully forgiven us. I am an over thinker and anger seems to be the only emotion I know at times. So when I’m offended I can overthink the situation and then just sit there and get angrier and angrier all by myself unless I go to God, choose to forgive, and repent for my unforgiveness. We are deceived if we think unforgiveness and resentment is hidden deep within; the roots might be deep but the fruit is usually on our lips. I don’t ever want to hurt someone or displease God in what I say, so I am constantly forgiving, making the choice not be offended, and then asking God to create a clean heart within me.
The treasure in this process is experiencing God’s great love for us. He reminds me to pray when someone offends me and when I’m complaining to Him about the offense. Do you know how hard it is stay angry with someone you’re praying for? It’s virtually impossible because as the Holy Spirit leads us, we learn to pray God’s goodness and promises for them. When I have tried to villainize someone in my mind, the Lord is quick show me my part in the problem, and also remind me of the goodness within that other person. I often ask God to allow me to see people how He sees them, because God always sees someone who is worth dying for.
Beyond wanting a clean heart so that I can please God, I also want a clean heart so that my vision is clear. When my heart is dirty, my vision is blurry, meaning I see and I hear everything incorrectly. If I’m already offended then it doesn’t take much for something else to offend me. If I am holding on to sin, shame, and rejection then it’s hard for me hear God speak and it’s hard to receive correction or apply wisdom because I’m distracted and hiding. Like the prodigal Son, we can always repent and pray because God is with us.
In Psalms 139:7-8 David says, “where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.” It seems David has come to the end of himself and realized that he can’t run from God; that’s a lesson in itself. In this verse we find that God is faithful to stay with us even when we are stubborn in our hearts. That said, this verse is not a license to stay stubborn and rebellious. The Lord is faithful to keep calling us that He may restore us into right relationship with Him.
As we mature in Christ, our goal is to write His word on heart so that we do not sin against Him. Our heart can be so filled with the word of God that we sound like our Father, we know exactly what His voice sounds like, and we know what is on His heart.