Ever feel out of your element? Not long ago, I was asked to work in an area filled with rough and ready guys whose language matched their demeanor. I am usually a “desk jockey,” surrounded by more genteel folk. After a few days in this barrage, I considered telling these men that their language was offensive to me. Instead, not wishing to risk confrontation, I tried to ignore it.
At his commissioning, the prophet Isaiah was certainly feeling out of his element. He recognized what was in his heart, and he knew he was undone in the presence of a Holy God. Yet in a few short moments, the prophet was transformed and could proclaim, “Here I am! Send me” (Isaiah 6:8).
What made the difference? Atoning grace! It changed a cowering man to one eager to go with God’s message. Out of the prophet’s heart came willing words of obedience. Jesus taught in Matthew chapter 15 that the mouth reveals what is in the heart. When my heart isn’t right, I often express my irritation about others’ words or actions – usually through sarcastic comments. If I had voiced irritation to my coworkers about their speech, it would have shown the pride in my heart. My lips would have been unclean as well!
What if, instead of being offended by the lost ones around us, we said to God, “Here I am! Cleanse my heart and enable me to speak gracious words to them.” Maybe a good question to ask ourselves at such times is, “How is my heart?”
Lord, so often I show little compassion and much irritation toward the people around me. Please cleanse me and tune my heart to yours. May my mouth speak words of grace – from a heart purified by you. Amen.
Go Deeper ― Is your spouse, family member, or close friend able to speak truth in love to you when your unclean lips and heart are evident? Give them permission today to help you stay clean and ready to speak gracious words – from a grace-filled heart.
Photo Credit: Raechel Romero