Tim and I have moved many times since we were first married in 1980. We’ve moved to several different homes, to four different states (to two of them twice over the years), to several different towns, and even to France when our daughters were very small. We’ve packed, unpacked, sorted and purged. We’ve put things in storage and brought things back out of storage with each and every one of our moves.
Every time we’ve brought things out of storage, we’ve been blessed by the life-stories that most of our things hold for us and for our family. As we unpacked these good, useful, wanted and memory-laden things, we would tell stories, laugh a bit, and maybe tear up just a little bit (okay, I would anyway). And we would be thankful for these things that we had put in storage, and were now bringing back out. They would be part of our lives in our new home. These things that we brought out of storage were, to a certain extent, obvious ways for us to be known, and experienced, by others. Our storage says a lot about who we are.
On the other hand, there have been times when we’ve been surprised, disappointed, and even a little dumbfounded, when something we had intended to get rid of, something that should have been put out with the trash – because it was no longer useful, or it was broken, or it had been ruined by the elements and was warped, rusted or totally worn out – was found among our good, useful, wanted and memory-laden storage items. Oh, these things would be conversation starters, too – mostly making us ask ourselves, “What on earth made us think that was okay to keep? What were we possibly thinking to have allowed that thing to be put in storage with all of our other things?”
And so it is with our hearts. We need to be honestly aware of what we have stored up inside of our hearts – inside of our emotions, thoughts, motivations, perceptions, attitudes, actions and habits. Because what we have stored up inside of our hearts says a great deal about us – and flows out from us. And most often, our hearts will flow out through our mouths.
“A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” – Luke 6:45
Whatever we store up in our hearts – whether it is hate or love, bitterness or forgiveness, selfishness or kindness, pride or humility, fear or courage, woundedness or healing, judgment or compassion, jealousy or thankfulness – all of it will find a way to be expressed out through our mouths. Our hearts will be known, and experienced by others, through our words. And not just through the words we actually speak, but much of what is stored up in our hearts will be known, and experienced by others, through how – when, to whom, where and why – we choose to speak these words.
So, what’s your storage talk like? What’s your heart filled with? Are there perceptions and attitudes and overflow that are warped and broken, dangerous and damaging? Let God purge and unpack these, and fill your heart and your storage talk with the fruit of the Spirit: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23). This is how we should be known and experienced by others as we speak and live out our lives as followers of Christ!