Thursday, October 19, 2006

Internal Speech

“(You) who say in your heart,
‘Who will bring me down to earth?’” (Obad 1:3 NAS95)

We say a lot of things under our breath, in our hearts. What we really, truly believe is contained more in this internal speech than in the public, churchy declarations of our faith. What will most influence our actions and reactions is this hidden world of thought.

Abraham is publicized in the Bible as the man of faith. But there was a time when he said in his heart, “Will a child be born to a man one hundred years old? And will Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?” (Gen 17:17 NAS95). The man of faith was afflicted with doubt.

Esau was committed to decency during the lifetime of his father. But “Esau said to himself, “The days of mourning for my father are near; then I will kill my brother Jacob.”” (Gen 27:41 NAS95). We can put on a nice face while holding hate in our hearts.

David embarrassed Michal. He was “acting the fool” due to his love for God, and she was more concerned with how his actions reflected upon her than upon God. And so, “she despised him in her heart.” (2Sam 6:16 NAS95). Maybe no one else knew, but do we really think it did not affect their relationship?

We think we can get away with secret sins. These types (and more) of internal speech fit the category. But they have an affect. They color how we hear and interpret God and his Word. They shade our view of ourselves and of others. They can be the voice of the enemy on our shoulder, whispering in our ear. And all the time we think it is our own enlightened sense doing the talking.

“You felt secure in your wickedness and said, ‘No one sees me,’
Your wisdom and your knowledge, they have deluded you;
For you have said in your heart, ‘I am, and there is no one besides me.’”
(Is 47:10 NAS95)

I need to come to a place where I do not trust my own thoughts. “He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, But he who walks wisely will be delivered.” (Prov 28:26 NAS95) I may very well be the worst liar I know, or what I find in my heart may be the mouthpiece for the worst liar that the world has ever known. “Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44 NAS95)

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