“The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”
Luke 6:45 ESV
It’s exhausting. I want to be an informed citizen. I want to know all sides of issues in the news. I want to use my voice to advocate where I feel led by the Holy Spirit to do so. But it is so frustrating, because verifiable facts are hard to find in a culture innundated with opinions. Plus, it takes a lot of time to sift through it all in order to draw responsible conclusions. Fortunately, Jesus gave us a way to handle dilemmas like this.
Though not easy to quantify, most of us can differentiate between those opinions that emanate from a good heart and those hearts fixed on evil. Jesus spoke about this distinction, and we could save ourselves a lot of confusion if we kept His wisdom in front of us at all times.
“. . . for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”
So, how do we know when one is speaking from a heart of good or a heart of evil? I look for qualities that are intangible, but yet discernable. Here are few examples:
- Can this person’s opinion be supported by Scripture? There are many positions that “sound” Christian, but are not. What makes sense to us as humans is oftentimes not in alignment with God’s plans.
- Is the delivery of this person’s opinion consisent with one whose heart is fixed on Jesus? The fruit of the Spirit should be evident in every word — love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
- Is this person using Scripture as a weapon? Christians, agnostics, and athiests all try to shame believers into adopting their viewpoints by cherry-picking God’s Word, or throwing it back in their faces to justify their positions.
and, the one that concerns me most . . .
- Is this person attempting to speak for God? Whenever someone implies or flat-out states that God would agree with him or her, alarm bells should go off. We should discern God’s will and live accordingly, not endulging our own will and asking God to bless it.
Yes, we must be responsible citizens of our country. But, don’t give your citizenship of this world more prominence in your life than it deserves. Remember:
“But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Philippians 3:20 ESV
We must not lose sight of our calling to bring the Gospel to all nations by getting side-tracked in worldly debates. No one else will do that, and knowing Jesus is the only thing that will matter in the end.