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Reflections by the Pond
January 23, 2012
Our words reveal those things important to us.
Though we are homebodies at heart, Linda and I recently stepped out of our normal routine to visit a number of different friends in their homes. And in each case the home we were in revealed what was important to its owners. I do not speak here of right or wrong, good or bad; simply priorities—those things each family deems important to them.
For example, in one home there were a number of modern televisions prominent. By contrast, in another home we saw only one television, but the walls of practically every room in that house—including the bathroom—were decorated with oil or watercolor paintings. Two homes were filled with furniture and cabinets made by the man of each house, while in another there was no apparent evidence that the man of the house had ever wielded hammer or saw. One home had multiple computers, while two others had none at all.
One commonality among all the homes was that in varying degrees there were pictures of children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren prominently displayed. But in one of the homes it was obvious that along with the future generations, they also cherished the generations that had come before, with plentiful displays of parents, grandparents and great-grandparents.
High and Lofty Contemplations
If our homes reveal our priorities, how much more so our persons. Whether we like it or not, whether we intend it or not, our appearance, our demeanor and, most of all, our conversation reveal to others that which we consider important. Just as our physical dwellings reveal the lives of those who inhabit them, our conversation and behavior reveal our heart.
"Do you not understand that everything that goes into the mouth passes into the stomach, and is eliminated? But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man."
Our words do not spring forth from a vacuum, or magically appear upon our lips from an external source, but are the exhalation of our own mind and heart. So in every conversation we reveal a bit of our self—the condition of our heart, the thoughts that have risen through the miasma of our mind to see the light of day, the vocabulary and vernacular comfortable to us, and the things we care the most about.
Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
My mom used to inquire of me, "A penny for your thoughts." And that's about what they were worth at the time. What are your thoughts worth? What do they reveal about you?
Do the words of your conversation flow easily, comfortably across your lips, or must you constantly censor your words so they do not reveal what truly lies within your heart?
What fills your heart, your thoughts? What flows effortlessly out of them into your conversation? Is it "things above," or "things that are on earth"? Is your heart a dwelling place for high and lofty contemplations, or is it preoccupied with the baser things of temporal life?
What is important to you?