What Does the Bible Mean When It Says “Out of the Abundance of the Heart, the Mouth Speaks”?


As Christians, we often find ourselves considering the weight of our words and the power they hold. The Bible, as our guidebook, offers a wealth of wisdom when it comes to the relationship between our hearts and our speech. One verse that frequently comes to mind is found in the Gospel of Matthew, where Jesus says, “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34, NKJV). This statement raises important questions about the connection between our innermost thoughts and the words we choose to express. In this blog post, we will delve into the meaning of this verse and explore how it can impact our daily lives.

Throughout Scripture, the heart is often used as a metaphor for the core of our being—the place where our thoughts, feelings, and intentions reside. When Jesus speaks of the heart in this context, He is addressing the spiritual condition of our souls and the effect it has on our speech. As we examine this verse in greater detail, we will come to understand the importance of cultivating a heart that is aligned with God’s truth and how this alignment can manifest in the words we speak.

The saying “out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks” is more than just a simple proverb or wise saying. It is a call to examine our own hearts and to recognize the weight our words carry. In this post, we will explore the context in which Jesus spoke these words, discuss the relationship between the heart and the mouth, and offer practical tips for living out this truth in our daily lives.

out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks

The Context of the Statement

To fully understand the meaning of this verse, we must first consider the context in which Jesus spoke these words. In Matthew 12:33-37, Jesus is addressing the Pharisees, who had accused Him of casting out demons by the power of Satan (Matthew 12:24). Jesus responds by pointing out the inconsistencies in their logic and goes on to reveal the deeper issue at hand: the condition of their hearts.

The Fruit Reveals the Tree (Matthew 12:33)

Jesus begins His response by stating, “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit” (Matthew 12:33, NKJV). He uses the metaphor of a tree and its fruit to illustrate the relationship between the inner character and the outward actions of a person. The Pharisees, with their harsh words and judgmental attitudes, were revealing the true condition of their hearts.

The Connection Between the Heart and the Mouth

Jesus then delivers the main point: “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34, NKJV). The heart, as the center of our emotions, thoughts, and desires, influences our speech. Our words are not random or disconnected from our inner selves; they reflect our true character.

The Importance of Guarding Our Hearts (Proverbs 4:23)

The Bible emphasizes the importance of guarding our hearts, as they are the wellsprings of our actions and words. Proverbs 4:23 (NKJV) states, “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.” By guarding our hearts and filling them with God’s truth, we can ensure that our words will be a reflection of His love and grace.

Practical Tips for Living Out This Truth

As we understand the connection between our hearts and our words, we can take practical steps to cultivate a heart that reflects God’s character and speaks words of life.

meditate on God’s Word

One way to align our hearts with God’s truth is to meditate on His Word. By spending time in Scripture, we internalize His teachings, allowing them to shape our thoughts and beliefs. As Psalm 119:11 (NKJV) says, “Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.” When we store up God’s Word in our hearts, it influences our speech, leading us to speak words of encouragement, truth, and love.

Practice Gratitude and Praise

Focusing on gratitude and praise can help shift our hearts toward a more positive and Christ-like perspective. When we intentionally give thanks to God for His blessings and praise Him for who He is, our hearts become more aligned with His goodness. As a result, our speech becomes more uplifting and edifying to others (Ephesians 4:29).

Pray for a Pure Heart

Prayer is a powerful tool in cultivating a heart that reflects God’s character. By confessing our sins, seeking forgiveness, and asking God to create a clean heart within us, we invite His transforming work in our lives (Psalm 51:10). As our hearts are purified, our words will increasingly reflect His love and grace.

The Power and Responsibility of Our Words

Jesus goes on to emphasize the significance of our words, stating, “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned” (Matthew 12:36-37, NKJV). This serves as a sobering reminder of the power and responsibility we hold in our speech. Our words have the potential to build others up or tear them down, to bring life or death (Proverbs 18:21).

As followers of Christ, we must take this responsibility seriously and strive to speak words that reflect His love, grace, and truth. By examining our hearts and taking practical steps to cultivate a Christ-like character, we can ensure that our words will be a source of blessing and encouragement to those around us.


In conclusion, the saying “out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks” is a call to self-examination and spiritual growth. Our words are not separate from our inner selves but rather a reflection of our true character. By understanding the context in which Jesus spoke these words and recognizing the connection between the heart and the mouth, we can better appreciate the importance of cultivating a heart that is aligned with God’s truth.

As we guard our hearts, meditate on God’s Word, practice gratitude and praise, and pray for a pure heart, we will see our speech transformed to reflect His character. With the power and responsibility of our words in mind, let us strive to speak life and love into the lives of others, fulfilling our calling as ambassadors of Christ in a world that desperately needs His message of hope and redemption.

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