For centuries the heart has been a symbol to express love, feelings and emotions. It also refers to the intellectual core of human beings and symbolizes personality, morality and other non-physical characteristics. In the Bible it is the term used to describe where our true character resides. One man wrote, “It is the place of conscience and decisive spiritual activity,” “the comprehensive term for a person as a whole; his feelings, desires, passions, thought, understanding and will,” and “the center of a person.” The heart is “the place to which God turns.”
Medically speaking, there are known conditions of the heart that can be diagnosed according to the symptoms they cause. However, these symptoms are not the problem but the effects of a larger problem. Likewise, there are also non-physical conditions of the heart that can be detected by the symptoms they produce as well; one of which can be diagnosed in how we speak. Jesus said, “The mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart” (Matthew 12:34).
Do you know or have you been around people with filthy mouths? I’m not talking about the occasional slip of the tongue when they accidentally bump their head or stump their toe; I’m talking about the use of bad language as a normal part of their everyday vocabulary. It doesn’t take long to determine the character of someone’s heart that uses profanity around children, let alone the use of foul language in a public setting. Jesus said, “The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil” (Matthew 12:35). Words reveal the character of the heart.
The Bible shares with us, “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth” (Ephesians 4:29). The careless use of words is a symptom of an unclean heart. Jesus had some harsh words for those who spoke carelessly. He said, “Every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned” (Matthew 12:36-37).
The use of vulgar and profane language is the symptom of a corrupted heart and a true indication of sin. When we speak in this way, we demonstrate the evil that lies about in our hearts and it is essential that we confess our sin to God and turn away from it. By placing our faith in Jesus Christ and turning from our sin, God will cleanse our hearts and make us into a new creation.