The Heart and the Mouth

by | May 26, 2017 | Catechesis, Discipleship

“What hypocrites we seem to be whenever we talk of ourselves! Our words sound so humble, while our hearts are so proud.”
Augustus Hare (1834-1903)

So the issue seems to be about heart and mouth. Paul says, “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” Romans 10:9-10.

The Heart

This world is filled with people who confess all sorts of things with their mouths. All the time. “I believe this, I believe that.” “I like this and I like that.” How do you know what really is in their heart? Or your’s for that matter? How do you know what lives deep underneath in the heart? That is what forms who you really are. The mouth can say anything. The heart never lies. The mouth speaks in dialogue with others. The heart reflects a dialogue with the god it worships.

Paul reminds me of my swimming instructor as a child. He would say, when teaching us to dive, “the body follows the head. Keep your head down the body will follow.” It is the same thing with the heart and mouth. A mouth will only speak what the heart believes. So hypocrisy (saying one thing while believing or doing another) is really a revelation of self worship. Those who say they confess Jesus but have to control the environment rather than trust God’s control reveal a heart weak in faith or struggling to hold on to it. 

When we look into that mirror, we don’t like what we see. Staring back at us is the man or woman who says the right things and still acts the wrong way sometimes. This is the battle that rages in our hearts between trusting God and wanting to trust God. We look for affirmation through what others see and hear from us. It’s not their fault. What we say and do is all they have to know us. But God sees deep within our soul behind the fig leaves used to cover our true selves.

The Mouth

In this jungle of chaos we are unsure about God. We struggle to be human as He creates us and instead fashion wardrobes of humanity through the illusion of our mouths. The faint voice we hear is the sound of God who created us asking, “Where are you?” “I am here Lord, cowering under this tree afraid of you for I have eaten the fruit of needing to be in control and I see now the evil within me.” “There is the confession I am looking for,” God replies. 

Now the mouth and the heart align in the true knowledge of self and God.”I am weak and unable to be anything more than a god of opaque faith, a wall of stones to pray to. But you oh Lord are the God of creation and redemption. You are the God who saves and sustains. Only through you can I come out of the confession of my hiding place and meet you face to face in the holiness of your word and gift. Here, in the light of your presence my mouth can only speak in thanksgiving for the freedom you give to believe you are Lord and confess it.”

Control is the illusion of my fallen humanity. There is only God, whose will is reality. Control assumes that will can be affected, changed, altered, influenced, but it can’t any more than God can be wrong. He is holy and perfect and so His will  is the expression of His heart confessed in His words of forgiveness and restoration. They mold the heart and become the vocabulary of faith which is confessed by mouth and deed, rejoicing in a faith that flows from the font of forgiveness.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This