“Out of the Abundance of the Heart”
Lord, guard us from the minor hypocrisy of saying or doing things in an effort to mask who we truly are in our hearts; protect us from trying to appear to be better than we are.
But Lord, especially guard us from the major hypocrisy that results from our having deluded ourselves into believing that we are in fact other than we are; especially protect us from thinking that we really are better than we are.
Help us to see ourselves—to see our innermost selves—as we truly are. If we are evil, we are evil. If we are good, we are good. But perhaps most of us are somewhere in between or are in some ways both at the same time.
Lord, have mercy! Please move us all more toward you! Please rid our hearts of evil treasure and fill them with good treasure! Please cause us all to be more receptive of your grace! Please let our hearts be so full of you and your love and your grace that every day what comes out of our mouths and what is done in our lives is better and better and healthier and healthier--and has more and more integrity.
“Either make the tree good, and its fruit good; or make the tree bad, and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit. You brood of vipers! How can you speak good things, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good person brings good things out of a good treasure, and the evil person brings evil things out an evil treasure.” (Matthew 12:33-35)