An Edifying Vocabulary – What’s Comes Out of the Mouth Manifests What’s In the Heart

Psalm 19:14  Amplified Bible

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable and pleasing in Your sight, O Lord, my [ firm, immovable ] rock and my Redeemer.

We were taught to speak as toddlers and as very young children.  And if any of us were to show signs of developmental delays in speech, we would be eventually recommended to a speech therapist.  We grew up in a “verbal” society.  Everyone talks.  The time we uttered our very first words were cause for our parents’ celebration,

“He said Mama or Dada!”

Then growing up and while we were in primary and secondary school, we heard and learned a lot more words.  We spoke and wrote our ideas down. These were the very words we use to communicate and relate to others, not just in English, but even our own native tongue, be it a foreign language or a region-based dialect. We have accumulated these words in our daily data storage that is our brain – and they have become our vocabulary. Now, what is does the term “vocabulary” mean exactly?

If you were to look up the definition of Vocabulary, you’d find one in Scribd , and it would most likely say this,

Today, I had a rather lengthy discussion with my 10 year old son, because I caught him secretly enjoying knowing some new “bad words”.  He picked them up from watching TV shows and action movies.  I don’t have to cite those expressions here…you have a fair idea of what those terms, and strings of words are.  In written form, they are depicted as those complex sequences of punctuation marks.  Some of them are derogatory, some are mere negative expressions, while others are curses and cussing.

Now I did not go through the process of letting him verbalize the “words/terms” he already knew. I did not want him to have to “utter those words with his mouth”. The following verse sums up my reason why.

Proverbs 18:21 (NIRV)

21 Your tongue has the power of life and death.
    Those who love to talk will eat the fruit of their words.

One of the ways he got them was through watching movies at home. If it were a DVD, he would set it to show “subtitles” so he would get exactly what was being said.  How did I catch him? Whenever, a bad word was said in the script, he would grin, like he was enjoying adding a new item to his inventory of cool and hip terms.  With that discovery, I just had to confront him with a barrage of questions like a 1-2-3 punch.  This is how my cross-examination went:

  • “So how many bad words do you now know?”  …followed up with
  •  “How many of these do you actually understand?”…..then
  • “Do you think you are smarter knowing these things?”….with a smirk, I then said,
  • “Do you realize that you are already sinning just by storing these things in your head?”

At this point, my young son looks at me, baffled, anticipating and wanting to understand what I was trying to teach him.  I told him that,

“whatever you store in head, becomes part of your knowledge and memory.  The more you access this data bank, like when you are repeatedly going over and over them mentally, you are practically meditating on those concepts, and he was not even aware of it.  Those words then easily pop out, whenever you experience frustration, disappointment or dissatisfaction. Even when you are just “nagulat” or “nabigla” (translated as “startled or “surprised”).  The words that are frequently accessed in that data bank, then come out…and they are not good for the ears or for the heart”

I then explain further that we sin, not when we say the “bad words”, we already sinned at the point that we thought of them.  We are affected by what we hear and what we see.  This is why we have to intentionally screen what music we listen to, and what kinds of entertainment we expose ourselves to because they directly influence our thoughts and attitudes.

I then shift his attention to Psalm  119,

Psalm 119: 9-12 New Living Translation

A snapshot from the NLT Illustrated Bible – Psalm 119: 9-12 New Living Translation

The Lord graciously reminded me of this verse which met the exact need of my heart at the moment! Here in front of me, was a “young man” intently waiting for the next set of words I was going to tell him.

“Anak (translated as “My child”) , the Bible teaches us that the only way we can keep our hearts pure is to live according to God’s word. “

I then pointed out to him, that this is precisely why we memorize verses –

“…so that these divine truths get stored first in our minds, then as we go over and over and over them (meditating), we internalize these very truths in our hearts.  

…Then, when the situation calls for it, the Holy Spirit, retrieves this relevant information and refreshes our memory, ministering to us at our time of need.  It works just like a supernatural data retrieval system.  The exact scriptural truth that you meditated on sometime ago now pops out at the exact point to address your situation at hand. “

This is exactly what this verse in Luke 6:45 is referring to:

Luke 6:45  (NIV)

45 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

So memory verses, aren’t put out there to give you a hard time, they are recommended to you as immediate lifelines that you can count on.

We actually have a choice as to what to fill our minds with – and we make that choice every moment of our lives. Our choice determines our “life’s programming” so to speak. In computer parlance, it is like setting the default mode of our “life’s perspective”.  You are making the critical choice between, ” Am I going with the Bible teaches” or will I just “go with the flow”, and do what everyone else is doing? The choice we make, reaps eternal consequences down the road.

Truths from the Bible remain forever relevant no matter what the societal trend dictates. They are not just mere quotations or words of wisdom, they are the words of God. They are powerful, eternal, unchanging truths.

Hebrews 4:12 NIRV

The word of God is alive and active. It is sharper than any sword that has two edges. It cuts deep enough to separate soul from spirit. It can separate bones from joints. It judges the thoughts and purposes of the heart.

 

As I tucked my boys in at bedtime to say good night, my 8-year old hugged me to say,

“Mommy, I’m sorry that I somehow mastered a lot of bad words, I did not know I was sinning against God already. Will you help me pray and ask God for forgiveness?”

At that point, my heart was filled with joy that I was not just dealing with one young man, I was actually dealing with two of them.  My youngest was listening in on our exchange the entire time. Oh the joys of parenting!

Thank you Lord, for entrusting us with these precious lives.  We are defective parents. ( I myself, lose my cool so often and raise my voice a lot,)  but by Your grace and mercy, we depend on You to transform us to become the role models you intend us to be. Thank you for Your Word that will actively transform each member of our family.  Use our lives for your glory, Lord.

I would just like to share just one more detail with you, God used a song by God Rocks to help us for this very specific issue.  It is a link to a  video of their song entitled, “Hidden In My Heart”

Our prayer is that as you listen to it, your hearts will be blessed as well.

 

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