Summary: This is the final sermon in the SPEAK LIFE series. Transforming our speech begins by transforming our hearts. Our speech problems are really a heart problem.
A. Let’s begin by talking about dandelions.
1. How many of you love dandelions in your lawn?
a. How many of you distain dandelions in your lawn?
b. Look at that…we are even a divided nation when it comes to dandelions?
2. When it comes to a dandelion, the key to its survival is its roots.
a. Children love to pick dandelions and blow on them to see their seeds take flight.
b. They love to pick a bouquet of them to give to their moms.
c. Children can pick dandelions all they want, but stay away from the tulips and daffodils, because as long as their roots remain they’ll keep growing back.
3. The problem with dandelions and the problem with our tongues is they have one thing in common – roots!
4. Anyone who tries to solve sinful speech patterns from the neck up will find that the problem with the tongue keeps coming back.
B. Today’s sermon is our last sermon in our SPEAK LIFE sermon series.
1. We have spent the last couple of months learning about the importance of the words we use – that our words have the power of life and death.
2. We have explored the kinds of words that need to be eliminated from our speech because of the ways they destroy our relationships with God and others.
a. During this series some people have joked with me about the fact that now they have nothing to talk about since they have eliminated gossip, complaining and boasting.
3. Two weeks ago, we explored the ways we can use our tongues for good, and last week we discussed cyber-talk – the way we communicate through email, texting and social media.
C. Today, I want us to understand an important principle that Jesus taught – the tongue reveals the heart.
1. How many times have you said something you shouldn’t have said, and then immediately said: “I don’t know where that came from!” or “I don’t know why I said that” or “Wow, that wasn’t me!”
2. The truth of the matter is we do know where that came from and it was you who said it – it came from deep inside of us; it came from the heart.
a. Our speech problems are really heart problems.
b. Our tongues are the servants of our spirits.
c. The roots of our words come from the condition of our hearts.
d. Our speech simply reveals what is happening inside of us.
e. All talk is really heart talk.
3. The fact that our tongues reveal our inner selves can be embarrassing.
a. It’s like our slips are showing, or our shirt has become untucked.
b. We get all polished up, but then we open our mouths and our hearts show.
4. But the consequences of our tongues revealing our hearts is more serious than embarrassment.
D. Let’s spend a minute with Jesus’ words on this subject.
1. Jesus said: “Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matthew 12:33-37)
2. Jesus makes three simple, but significant points in that paragraph.
a. First, Jesus said that our speech identifies us.
1. Just as a tree is recognized by its fruit, so is a person recognized by what they say.
2. What is our speech revealing about who we really are?
b. Second, Jesus said that our speech reveals our heart.
1. Whatever comes out of our mouths came out because it was first in our hearts.
c. Third, Jesus said that we will be judged by our speech.
1. Our words are such an accurate reflection of our spiritual condition that it will be a basis for God’s evaluation of us.
2. We will be held accountable for our words, not because God is hyper-critical, but because our words are the revelation of our true inner condition.
E. So what can we do about the fact that our tongues reveal our hearts?
1. One thing we can do is to just stop talking, then no one will know what is in our hearts.
a. Prov. 17:28 says: “Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue.”