At the Heart of it (Matthew 12:34)

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Just as a seed is a tree looking for a chance to grow, attitudes are actions looking for an opportunity to take form. Bad attitudes are, as the saying goes, accidents looking for a place to happen. Good attitudes are solutions looking for a problem to solve. In each case, a fruit corresponds with the root condition – good always produces good, and evil always produces evil.

This principle that attitudes reproduce themselves as actions after their own kind is sometimes difficult to recognize – in others as well as ourselves. Good-sounding words and a beguiling smile give the impression of right intentions. Yet, as our Lord showed us, the rule still stands: What a man says and does is in keeping with the attitude of his heart. If good words mask a bad heart, the good words are being expressed for an evil purpose.

This is what the Lord pointed out in Matthew 12. He was standing before men who talked like godly men, but they were actually evil to the core. They were men who, while outwardly speaking against Satan, were in fact his servants. They were merely saying good-sounding things in an evil way. But our Lord unmasked the illusion. He reminded them that someday their own good words would be used against them to reveal the wrongness of the heart that was producing the things they said.

What about us? Are we hiding bad attitudes that are really in the process of becoming actions that dishonor our Savior’s name?Martin R. De Haan II

 From others we can hide some things

We’ve thought and said and done;

We cannot hide them from the Lord,

He knows them, every one. – Cooper

 He who is true to God will not be false to men.

  • November 6, 1985, Our  Daily Bread

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