Yes, it’s time to renovate… our hearts.
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.
Jesus’ words beg us to ask the question, “What do I have stored up in my heart?” Think about it for a moment. Is there any good advice that you use? Are there any memories that have made a positive impact? Are there any Bible verses that come to mind when you are in certain situations during your day? Now, I wouldn’t say that any of us reading this are “evil.” Still, there are things stored in our hearts, thoughts that have crept in like mildew, that effect what we produce in our lives. They need to be changed, tossed out. Maybe there is jealousy or you are spending too much time condemning yourself. Are worries occupying your thoughts? Is there someone that you need to forgive? Jesus tells us how we can know at the end of the verse: “for out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.”
I’ve tended to use this part of the verse for other people, but this morning I heard myself telling someone how I was not looking forward to a particular event. As I walked away I realized that what “overflowed” out of my mouth came from something I had stored within. Then I thought that listening to what I say could really help me! I could change my thinking regarding how I was going to handle the situation. If I had not been writing this article I might have just “grinned and bared it” instead of “making the most of every opportunity” (Eph. 5:16)!
Another way of putting this is a verse that many of us are familiar with:
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-His good, pleasing and perfect will.
When you look up the word “renewing” in Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, you will find “renovation, a complete change for the better.” This brings us back to what is stored in our hearts. Just like a home renovation, it’s all about taking inventory of what you have stored, getting rid of what’s unattractive, useless and possibly even dangerous, and replacing it with what’s beautiful, useful and healthy. It’s also about repositioning what’s good (possibly a talent you have that can be used in better ways). It actually says that when we renew our minds we “will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-His good, pleasing and perfect will.” I know that when I see the end result of a really good renovation I can’t help but express my approval. God wants us to approve the end result of our mental renovations too, which, by the way, would be living out “His good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Now, renewing our minds or storing up what’s good in our hearts isn’t going to just happen. Proverbs 22:17 and18 gives us some good advice: “ Pay attention and listen to the sayings of the wise; apply your heart to what I teach, for it is pleasing when you keep them in your heart and have all of them ready on your lips.” We need to purposely store up the good. This is where Scripture memorization comes in handy as well as meditating on Scripture (see Psalm 1).
Next, think about what you’re thinking about and saying. Rather than condemning yourself, see it as an opportunity to renovate your thinking. Go over how you’re thinking about certain situations, and then think it through from a godly perspective. Sometimes it’s as simple as recognizing you don’t have to think that way!
Proverbs 22:19 says: “So that our trust may be in the LORD.” That’s huge! To trust God we need to fill our hearts full of His thoughts, which enables us to live accordingly. That’s how we will experience His good, pleasing and perfect will! Now that’s a divine design renovation!