MY MOUTH AND MY HEART
By Wayne S. Walker
"Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer" (Psalm 19:14). We speak with our mouths and think with our hearts. "For as he thinks in his heart, so is he…" (Proverbs 23:7). It is certainly possible for one to think something in his heart and not speak it. It is also possible, at least somewhat, for a person to say something with his mouth and not really be thinking about it. We sometimes talk about those who step on the accelerator pedal of their mouths without fully putting their minds in gear. However, even in such circumstances, what the mouth speaks is an indication of what is in the heart or mind (Matthew 12:33-37, 15:19-20).
This principle needs to be applied whenever we speak to others. What we say to people does have an impact upon them. That is why Paul said, "Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers" (Ephesians 4:29). Rather than allowing speech that will hurt and tear down, we should follow Paul’s instruction, "Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one" (Colossians 4:6). By maintaining purity of heart and thought, we shall be more likely to maintain purity of speech.
This principle can also be applied to our prayers, especially those in public. It is easy for one leading in prayer, and those who are supposed to be listening to it, to be speaking or hearing words but in reality letting their minds wander all over creation. This is similar to Jesus’s observation, "These people draw near to Me with their mouths, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me" (Matthew 15:8). Yes, when we pray, we must make sure that the words of our mouths are in harmony with God’s will, but even then if they are not true reflections of the thought in our hearts, they will be nothing more than vain repetitions (Matthew 6:7).
It applies to our singing too. Singing is defined as speaking words to music. In our singing, we are "speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs" (Ephesians 5:19). However, at the same time, each one is to be "singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord" (Colossians 3:16). Therefore, we need to be thinking about the words that we are saying in order for our singing to be acceptable in the sight of the Lord.