Learning a new language really well requires immersion in that language. Surrounding yourself in that new culture and language can result in a new heart.
What Comes From the Heart
When you read Matthew 15:1-20, you get the story of some Pharisees and teachers picking on Jesus about the behavior of his disciples. After figuratively (this time) turning the tables on them, he continues with a really short parable to illustrate his point. Of course Peter needs the parable explained.
Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them.
– Matthew 15:17-18
Pastor Ben brought this scripture together with Paul’s writing from 1 Corinthians 13 in, “Kingdom People and Christian Charachter – A New Language“. We probably all know the second half of this famous chapter – the “love is” verses that we find ubiquitous at weddings. The first few verses often get skipped. Simply put, it says that even though I do all the good stuff, and all the church stuff, if I don’t do it out of love, it’s meaningless. It’s the heart-direction that matters.
Love – true love – not some fuzzy nonsense that you can fall in and out of depending on how many butterflies show up that day — no, real agape love.
Agape love is the self-sacrificing God-centered love that Jesus lived and talked about. Consequently, changing our heart-direction can give us a new language.
I like to think of the things that we say and do as our heart language. It’s our heart-language that shows people who we are. The way we treat others can speak more loudly and plainly than our words. Likewise, our words can be more hurtful than fists. It’s those things that come from our hearts that define (defile) us.
- The only thing that matters is love.
- The only thing that remains is love.
- The only thing the will continue is love.
Learning and living this heart-language of loving is how we honor God. And Scripture study, worship, and prayer with God’s people is how we immerse ourselves in it.