A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.Luke 6:45
Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.Proverbs 4:23
In the church I attend, the last service of the year is called “Praise, Pajamas and Pastries”. We literally do all three: we wear pajamas (if you want), eat pastries and share praise from the past year. This year was no exception.
Our pastor gave a short message on praise and trust. He talked about praise coming from the overflow of a heart that is full of gratitude, just like the verses above indicate. Praise comes from a heart of gratitude. He went on to challenge us that if we don’t like what is in our hearts, we can change it by changing what we say.
That struck me. I pictured this well inside of hurt, pain, fear, worry, anxiety, distrust, grief…the kinds of things that are really hard to overcome. And then I pictured a vessel slowly pouring into the heart the qualities it so deeply needed. Into the heart went words of trust, joy, hope, peace, love, healing… and I began to see that we can change the contents of the well inside.
I don’t mean we ignore the pain or fake it ’til you make it thinking. I mean genuine praise and gratitude falling into the hard, painful places and slowly, steadily softening the soil and replacing the worry, anxiety, grief, distrust with praise! Praise for the One who never leaves me alone. Praise for the One who is for me and not against me. Praise for the One who makes a way where there is no way. Praise for the One who levels the hills and straightens the curves. Praise for the One who makes paths through the wilderness and rivers in dry lands. Praise for the One who declares that something new is already started! (See Isaiah 43 and 44)
The words we speak come from our hearts, expose what we believe and determine the course of our lives. If you don’t like where you are going, consider changing what you are saying!