The Thermometer of the Heart

How do we measure spiritual health?

Pass around a thermometer. Ask: Why is the body's temperature considered a vital sign of physical health? (Because a higher than normal temperature is evidence of an infection.)

Next ask: What are some vital signs of spiritual health? Allow several people to respond.

Read Luke 6:45: "A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of." (emphasis mine). Ask: What vital sign of spiritual health does this verse cite?

Emphasize this timeless truth: the tongue is the thermometer of the heart. What we say and how we say it reveals our spiritual condition and indicates whether or not there's an "infection" the Holy Spirit needs to treat. Sins of the tongue—lying, slandering, gossiping, speaking harshly—are symptoms of a deeper malady.

Spark conversation by asking:

  1. What kinds of words flow from a heart that's spiritually cold?
  2. What are examples of words indicating one's heart is spiritually healthy?
  3. Is learning to say the "right" things the answer to becoming spiritual healthy? If not, what is the answer?

You can also use this to launch into a Bible study on the tongue, focusing on James 3:1-12.

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