by Allison Martin
"...for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh."
As a Kindergarten teacher, this subject is one I deal with often: tattle tales. A lot of moms can probably relate! Anyone who has spent time around kids knows that a tattle tale is someone that is quick to inform others when someone has done something wrong.
A student may think they’re getting away with something because their teacher hasn’t seen them, but they should beware- there is usually a vigilant tattle tale or two that’s ready to blow their cover. And just because mom didn’t see them sneak that forbidden candy, doesn’t mean that their little sister didn’t!
I’m often amused at how sneaky kids think they are, until I realize that I can be the same way with those around me, and even with God. We can have ourselves and everyone else convinced that our hearts are right, while harboring things that we know shouldn’t be there. Thankfully, our lives have some built in tattle tales that expose the hidden matters of the heart. Let’s take a look at two of them, to see what they say about us. Remember- the tattle tales never lie.
For a Christian, the matter of priorities is straightforward: God comes first. But does He really? Right now, something ranks #1 in your heart. Our hearts were created to worship, and worship they will. As Bro. Taylor put it, “Everybody sacrifices to their god.”
If you want to do a quick check of your priorities, ask yourself a few questions: Where am I most willing to sacrifice my time? Where am I most willing to sacrifice my money? What do I always make sure gets accomplished, even if it’s at the expense of something else?
If you’re like me, these questions can be a bit uncomfortable. Because sometimes, they reveal a stark contrast between what I claim to be a priority, and what I have actually made a priority.
This includes our private conversations, our text messages, and even the thoughts that we don’t intend to share with anyone. Attitudes and motives laced within our words reveal a lot about the heart they came out of. The writer of Hebrews warns us to watch for “a root of bitterness” that could spring up in our life. Roots grow beneath the surface, gaining strength as they branch farther and farther out. By the time a tiny sprout pushes its way through the soil, an entire network has developed below. Take note today of your words: the ones you write, the ones you speak, and the ones you think. Are there underlying currents of unforgiveness, jealousy, or anger? Our words are telling on us!
While hearing from our spiritual “tattle tales” may not be comfortable, it is vital. I only mentioned two, but there are so many more aspects of our lives that indicate our spiritual condition. Our devotional life, our commitment to God’s House, and our love for one another are a few more tell-tale signs of our heart’s condition.
These tattle tales reveal things that we may not be honest enough to admit to ourselves. They show us our need of Christ. They point us to the problem areas that, if addressed now, could save us so much trouble down the road.
In these trying and often confusing times we live in, it is more important than ever to have a heart that is pure and grounded in truth. Our enemy is a master deceiver, and there is no deception more dangerous than when we have deceived ourselves into thinking that our heart is right when it isn’t. Our hearts must be guarded above all else, and these tattle tales sound the alarm that there is an intruder. There is power in recognizing when sin has crept in, because that recognition leads us to repentance and forgiveness. And Christ offers us not only forgiveness from sin, but victory over it.
The saying goes that no one likes a tattle tale, and that may be true. But sometimes, we need one.