The Woeful State of Our Words

I caught an interesting news cycle before leaving for work this morning.  The story was, more or less, on profanity of all things.

First, it featured the hapless news-anchor whose career had finally arrived as he was on-set for his first ever live broadcast. Naturally, he was nervous: the lights, the camera, the heat of pressure and the sweat it is prone to produce.  So before going on-the-air, he muttered a therapeutic curse word.  The only problem was that he was on-air, and now, along with going viral, he is unemployed.

That story was segued to David Ortiz–a prominent Boston Red Sox slugger–giving a “Boston Strong” speech for the throngs at Fenway following the Marathon tragedy. His own miscue wasn’t due to nerves; no, it was passion that had the all-star declare in “adult language” that Boston was his and the crowd’s city.  The FCC watched the tape of the incident and decided not to fine Ortiz or the Red Sox stating that Ortiz was speaking “from the heart.”

Well that’s just the thing of it, isn’t it?  What the FCC claimed not only boosted their public image, giving them a laid-back “every man” feel for the first time ever, but it revealed a much deeper truth: Truly all speech is from the heart.

In speaking to the high-brow religious types, Jesus said: “For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart” (Matthew 12:34).

This weekend we didn’t discuss the shortest anchorman career ever or David Ortiz’s speech, but we did spend a spell on the Third Commandment and how it reveals our hearts.

You see, God isn’t some Cosmic FCC President censoring our speech and looking for language worthy of a fine.  He is not checking our motives because, God knows, our motives reveal us, and they do so through our mouths.  We are defined by what we say, and our words declare the inner-workings of our heart: our beliefs, our dreams, our desires, our philosophy.

And when viewed this way–from the inside out–it becomes very apparent that, in our modern speech, we do not value God.  We do not see Him as supreme and authoritative and creator and all-powerful.  We speak of Him irreverently as some superstition or a subject to be mastered or in jest, but we do not honor Him in our hearts as evidenced by the tattling rattle of our tongues.

Listen to the message on on how we misuse God’s name and how to use it correctly.  But even more importantly, subscribe to what the Holy Spirit is saying and if it is congruent with the things uttered from your mouth. When we take a listen to our words, it perhaps becomes possible to take measure of all they are and all they aren’t, and, in doing so, see all our heart is in light of what it could be in Jesus Christ.

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