Some people talk a lot. Some people talk a little. I personally ebb and flow on the spectrum depending on situation and environment. But when you are meeting someone new or catching up with someone from the past, one thing is always true: you talk about common interests. The fun (for some) “get to know you” conversation includes the normal questions of family, history, and interests. You are trying to find common ground on which you can connect with this new person. Do you have a common interest? Do you have a mutual friend? Have you ever lived in the same city? When you go home to visit your parents, you end up talking about people and situations from your distant past – to the joy of some, and the pain of others. You will never live down that one story from your past in your parents’ eyes.
We talk about the things we know and love. Not only do we not enjoy conversations about things we know little or nothing about, we simply have nothing to say about them. I know very little about race cars. Other than having attended High School in Indianapolis, where they have the Indy 500, I have nothing to add to a conversation about racing. I can ask questions, but will be generally lost on the topic and quite frankly, not that interested. But when you find that sweet spot, when you figure out what makes a person tick, you can see their eyes light up, and if you happen to have the same drive you can talk for hours.
“Your mouth is always filled with praises for what you value most.”
– C.S. Lewis
Jesus also says it quite simply:
“The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.”
– Luke 6.45
We speak that which fills our hearts. Jesus, interestingly, puts a value on the fruit of our mouths: it is either good or evil. Our comfortable Christianity teaches us that there are three categories: good, evil and neutral. But Jesus had a much more black and white outlook. Either something is glorifying to God and therefore good, or it is evil. Either an action or word is out of faith and therefore good, or it is evil. Either a word is edifying to those who hear it, or it is evil (1 Cor 10.31, Rom 14.23, Eph 4.29).
Does that mean that we cannot talk about anything other than Jesus, Church and theology? No, but it means that everything we think, say and do should be done intentionally to the glory and honor of God. Eating, drinking, singing, working, playing, talking, you name it. And if we fill up our hearts with Jesus and His Word, then we will bring forth actions and words that glorify Him, even if they are not directly about Him. He will still be the driving force behind them.
It will be a natural occurrence that we fill up our hearts with Jesus and His Word when we love Him, not a chore. Sometimes we like to make excuses for ourselves to say that we are too busy, we have responsibilities, etc. But we always make time for those things that are important to us! If you know you have a standing appointment at the gym on Tuesdays and Thursdays, you don’t plan coffee with friends during those times. If you teach Sunday School before Church every week, you do not enroll in a soccer team that plays games on Sunday mornings! We plan our activities and events around those things that we value most. And, quite frankly, we let others (and Jesus) know that they are not that important to us when we schedule something else over a standing appointment (or Church and prayer).
Too busy to pray? John Piper has eloquently stated,
“One of the great uses of Twitter and Facebook will be to prove at the last day that prayerlessness was not from a lack of time.”
– John Piper
What do you value? Is Jesus and His Word saturating your heart such that everything that comes out is glorifying to Him and edifying to one another? Can you confidently say that you are eating, drinking, speaking, resting and playing by faith and to the glory of God? Your mouth is praising something today, what is it?