I saw an old photo the other day of a man I never knew. What leapt out from the faded ink and crumpled paper was kindness, a sense of humor, and generosity of spirit. He looked like someone I would like to meet, and given that we are eternal beings, I look forward to the day that we do.
Now while it would be easy — and flattering — to say that I was spot-on in my assessment (I was) because I am such an excellent judge of character, the truth is that who and what we are comes across more strongly than we think:
“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,” Jesus says in Luke 6:45.
“For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.”
On a supremely shallow level — and unfortunately more than one Christian on the planet operates here — this verse could be interpreted as an injunction not to swear. Now while swearing is a habit most of us would like to get over, severely limiting this verse to a narrow, narrow way of thinking eclipses its meaning, beauty and significance.
And also unfortunately, once we get into the habit of narrowly and shallowly looking at things, like Bible verses, we start relying upon law as opposed to grace, following a set of rules instead of truly allowing God to transform us into different, and better, people.