Twice in the last few days, as I’ve walk past the flat at the top of my street, I’ve heard something disturbing. Three days ago, as I rounded the corner, a young man in his early 20s was leaning out of the upstairs window scream profanities at a man down below.
“Why the #*&% are you putting that @#$% leaflet into my house? I don’t want your leaflet. Leave me the @&%$ alone!!” The guy down below look bewildered – he was just doing his job. Going door-to-door putting leaflets into each house is something people do almost every day in my neighborhood.
Then yesterday, I was walked by the flat in the morning to catch the bus, I heard him again – this time screaming at his mother. “You gave me birth. So what?! You gave me birth, what the #%*@ does that matter?!”
Screaming at the “leaflet man” or your mother indicates a profound anger at the world. But what is the answer? Anger management? Therapy?
Maybe? But I think he needs more.
Jesus lets us know that our mouths reflect our hearts – the core of our being.
“What comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart” (Matthew 15:18)
My neighbor needs a heart change. He needs a work of the spirit to convict him of his sin so that he falls upon the grace of Jesus as his only hope. Then his words will change.
When we hear swearing from those around us, let it be a reminder of where those words come from. Straight from the heart. Hearts full of anger, pain, frustration and rebellion. Don’t worry so much about the language. Worry about what’s going on inside your neighbor.
The need for heart change is far beyond our control and yet, by God’s grace, He actually uses normal people like you and me to help bring this heart change to others. That is something worth praying for.
That is something worth shouting (joyfully) about.