Garbage In, Garbage Out
“The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.” That’s Jesus speaking in Luke 6:45. It’s easy to breeze through this verse and not really let the truth penetrate.
A dear friend and spiritual mentor from my summer camp put it this way: “Imagine you come to our house and ask for a cup of hot coffee. We pour it into a mug for you, and maybe you pour in some creamer until liquid fills the cup to the brim. The coffee is on the verge of spilling. You slowly walk to take a seat on the couch when all of a sudden one of our kids runs through the room and bumps your elbow. No matter how good your reflexes are, you are going to spill. So even as you try and shield the cup, liquid is going to pour out over the side of the cup and cover yourself or my kid. And in this moment, that’s going to be hot coffee. If any other liquid were to come out of the cup, it would be a total surprise.”
Every day we interact with others and every day we have the chance of being bumped, so to speak. Whatever you are filling up on is going to spill over and ultimately what is going to cover others. So what’s it going to be?
Think about the last time you said something you wish you hadn’t. Perhaps it was a mean word to a friend, a passive-aggressive remark to a coworker, or an ungrateful response to a parent. Have you ever said something you regretted and then thought (or said), “Where did that come from?” Jesus makes the source of our words very clear in Matthew 12:34: “For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.” The answer is inside us. Proverbs 27:19 says, “As water reflects a face, so a man’s heart reflects the man.” Tie both of these ideas together and we get a complete picture. Your words and thoughts come out of your heart and your heart reflects you as a woman. As women, what does this mean for all of us?
Music, movies, conversations, television – everything we put into our hearts ultimately determines what comes out of our mouths and is expressed through our actions. Garbage in, garbage out. If we want pure and good things to flow from our mouths and thoughts we have to fill up with the good stuff. I cannot put hot coffee in my cup and then expect to see cold water spill out. The surest way to change how we respond to the people we resent, dislike, fear, or envy is to speak and think good things over them.
Have you ever trained for a race or increased your level of exercise? At first you don’t want to run or go to the gym, but eventually, you crave exercise and miss it on the days when it doesn’t fit in your schedule. If blessing those who you compare yourself with is hard to swallow, keep at it.
Remember, your thoughts and words reflect your heart and your heart reflects you.
I think about this analogy on a regular basis. It’s a great filter for how I spend my “me” time. You know, that time of day when you say, “I deserve this.” I’ve mentioned it before, but I actually had to completely expel celebrity tv shows and magazines. I found myself getting so wrapped up in their lives that I became envious, jealous, and distracted. What I was digesting wasn’t producing a great heart outflow. But I know tons of people who can pull out a magazine on vacation or catch “Extra” at the gym and have it not affect their heart or thoughts one iota. I put this section in the book so that we can all simply be alert and aware.
When I lived in England for a semester in college I began to notice my language becoming more colorful. (And I don’t mean with an accent.) As someone who never really cussed I found myself picking up the words that were so common even to the kids at the school where I volunteered. I had to actively weed out the things I was hearing, otherwise I would have come home with an entirely different #$%@ vocabulary.
Garbage in. Garbage out.
Question: What’s an area of media intake that’s a struggle for you? Movies? Music? Comparison through social media?
P.S. DON’T FORGET ABOUT THE RAFFLE TO WIN TWO COPIES OF FORGET THE CORSAGE! You have until 12:00am Saturday morning to enter! (Multiple ways to enter each day!)