words speak for themselves

For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks’ -Matthew 12:34

looking for the condition of my heart? just listen to my words. they speak for themselves.

i remember hearing my mom quote this bible verse to me over and over again as a child, typically after i ran my mouth in any direction besides good. i remember always hearing it, yet never having it “click” in my mind. you know? it wasn’t until i got older that i understood the heart & mouth connection and how powerful it was. if my heart was in the wrong, so were my words. if my heart was stirred with passion to help people, i would speak as if every person i came into contact with was an angel. if my heart was jealous of someone else’s success, i’d be quick to fiercely articulate all of my accomplishments in an embarrassing attempt to steal attention. words are simply the symptom of a heart condition, for better or for worse. now that i’m an adult, i recognize that and see how beautifully the bible speaks on this topic.

 “A person’s words can be life-giving water; words of true wisdom are as refreshing as a bubbling brook.”

-Proverbs 18:4

words are not just powerful. they’re transformative. they bring life or death depending on how you use them. and if proverbs tells us that ‘out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks’, we must watch what is going into our hearts. what types of conversations are we having on a daily basis? what music is filling our minds on our drives to work? i’m no expert, but i can get a pretty good sense on where i’m at in life based on how i talk about myself, other people, and the world around me. all i gotta do is listen. if i’m hearing more self-deprecating comments come out of my mouth, i can almost guarantee you that i’m struggling with my body image or feeling unlovable. and that, my friends, is NOT my identity, so i have to regroup and regroup fast. all this to say: we can use our words as the thermometers of our hearts and i think that’s a major blessing.

so how do we keep our hearts healthy? well, i don’t have all the answers but i have some tips on what has worked for me:

  1. first things first, filling your mind and spirit with the bible. read it. meditate on it. hunger for it.

  2. disconnect from toxic vocabulary. before you insult yourself or someone else, think of three things you’re grateful for…it might help more than you think. gratitude and anger really can’t be in the same room.

  3. replace negative music with positive music. this one is pretty simple. it might go against how you “feel” in the moment, but trust me you’ll feel better in the long run.

  4. walk into rooms eager to find the GOOD in people and situations. expect the best. you’ll be pleasantly surprised at what you find.

i’m sure there’s more, but those are just a few. i hope you feel empowered to speak highly of yourself and your world that surrounds you. check in with your heart and make adjustments where necessary. let goodness in, and let goodness flow out. the world is yearning to hear the words of hope you’re going to speak.

be well,


David Elm