About Jesus  -  Steve Sweetman

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Jesus said; "For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks (Luke 6:45 NIV)."  In other words, if you're an avid, heartfelt, fan of football, you'll talk football.  If you're an avid, heartfelt, fan of the Bible, you'll talk Bible.  Your words mirror what's in your heart.  What consumes your conversation consumes your heart.  As Christians living in the western world, we need to take some time to think through what Jesus is telling us.      


Our western world culture is heavily influenced by what some call a Post Modern philosophy that rejects a serious, well thought out, approach to reasoning issues through to their logical conclusion.  "Just give me a sound bite, and please, don't bother me with the details," is the Post Modern motto.  Unfortunately, this mentality is robbing us of heartfelt beliefs and convictions by which we once lived.  It's also devaluating the meaning, and even the spelling, of the words we speak.  Words, except for those words we pay lawyers to write, are losing their meaning, significance, and impact. 


We complain that politicians have little respect for words when they say one thing and do another, but the general population differs little from politicians.  It has been said that talk is cheap.  I certainly concur with that.  Talk radio, 24 hour news channels, and social media, overflow with meaningless words spewed out of Post Modern irrational mouths.  Facebook is a prime example.  Without thinking, people type all sorts of nonsensical words that breeze through their unfiltered brains.  They support a cause or a movement they no little about by merely clicking a link.  They share videos, pictures, and maybe a few words, from the comfort and convenience of their comfy chairs with little to no action to support what they share.  It's one thing to support a cause with words or by clicking a link in cyber space.  It's quite a different thing to support a cause with your feet, your hands, and your bank account.  The 1960's pop group known as Paul Revere and the Raiders were right when they sang, "There's too much talk and not enough action".  


If you take Jesus' statement seriously, which you should, words are important.  They reveal what's in your heart.  We should know, however, that words don't just appear out of thin air and parachute their way into your heart.  Words are connected to knowledge that enters your head.  Once in your head, the hope is that this knowledge will somehow find its way into your heart where it can be transformed into understanding that forms the foundation for the convictions by which you live.  If the words you speak proceed from heartfelt understanding, they are meaningful and productive. 


Just think about it.  In a time of severe sorrow, would you rather talk with someone who has a heart of understanding, or, would you rather talk with someone who tells you not to worry, everything will be okay, and then pats you on the back as he walks away.  Words that proceed from a heart where knowledge has not been transformed into heartfelt understanding, although accurate in their content, have little impact.  They demonstrate that there might well be knowledge in one's head but nothing in one's heart.


Let me explain it this way.  If you tell me that you were lucky not to have been hurt in that accident, I'll tell you that as a Christian you believe luck is an influencing factor in your life.  If you tell me that Jesus prevented you from being hurt in that accident, I'll tell you that you believe Jesus is the influencing factor in your life.  How you phrase your words say more about you than what you realize.  If you speak luck, there's something within you that still believes in luck.    


You might say, "I'm going to church."  I might say, as I often do, "You can't go to church because church is not a place where you can go.  You, along with other believers, constitute church.  There's no inherent logic in believing you can go to a place when you are that place."  You might respond by saying, as I often hear, "You know what I mean.  I believe church is people.  They're just words.  You're being too technical.  Don't take me so literally."  I might suggest to you, as I have been known to do, "If Jesus was right, your words tell me what you believe in your heart.  If you say you're going to church, there is something in your heart that believes church is a place where you go.  The Bible's concept of church, although known in your head, has not been sufficiently transformed into heartfelt understanding that changes the way you speak and the way you live."          


If we claim to have heartfelt understanding of Biblical issues our words will prove that to be true.  In part, that's what Jesus was getting at in Luke 6:45.  I'm convinced that our Post Modern, "just give me the sound bite mentality," has infiltrated the world of church and Christians.  It has dumbed us down to a sad state of Biblical illiteracy.  We may have some head knowledge, but that doesn't mean we have heartfelt understanding that forms the foundation for the convictions by which we must live.  As a matter of fact, I seldom hear the word "conviction" as understood in this light as I once did while growing up in the Evangelical community. 


"For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks (Luke 6:45 NIV)."  Words are important.   


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