A slip of the tongue or evidence of what’s really in the heart and mind?April 5, 2016
“What did he say?” I hear myself ask that question a lot when listening to interviews of Donald Trump. Did I hear that right? Surely he didn’t say that! Did he just say what I think he said?
The latest gaffe, if you can call it a gaffe, was on the issue of abortion. He claims it was a slip of the tongue. He says he misspoke. After all, he defends, it was a long complicated interview. His surrogates retort that he couldn’t have expected that kind of question. But if you’re going to lead the free world and speak for the nation in and under all circumstances, you better be ready for any and every question.
No one can do that, right?
We are all human, and every person, no matter their background or intent, has put their foot in their mouth.
But as Christians, we also know this: for out of the heart, the mouth speaks.
Your entire life is preparation to give a good and Godly answer to the next question posed or the next circumstance confronted, whatever it may be.
What happens next may be beyond your wildest dreams and it may be darker than your worst nightmare. But whatever happens, you can be certain of this, your response will be an accurate reflection of what you’re full of. Jesus was full of grace and truth, so when the pressure was on, no matter the question and no matter the challenge, what poured forth was grace and truth.
Simply by the evidence of what comes out of Donald Trump’s mouth, what is he full of?
On the specific issue of abortion: if your mind is genuinely the mind of Christ on this and every other matter, then it doesn’t matter what you are asked, for out of the heart the mouth will speak.
Speak your mind (or the mind of Christ)
Trump is often trumpeted by his supporters for being a man who speaks his mind. I see that as the primary problem. Trump speaks his mind and what’s in his mind reflects what’s in his heart. Jesus’ observation about the nature of human beings, not just mine (Luke 6:43-45).
Authentic followers invite the Holy Spirit to work within them moment-by-moment, yielding to the sovereignty of God and the Lordship of Jesus Christ until their thoughts become His thoughts and their ways His ways. We don’t make stuff up, we seek in all ways and always to speak the mind of Christ. The apostle Paul in the letter to the Christians at Philippi put it this way: “let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus.” That’s not where we start but it is where we hope to arrive by pursuing Jesus.
Judge not, lest ye be judged vs. good judgement
Ultimately, God alone can judge a person’s heart, but what comes out of a person’s mouth reveals both their mindset and their heart.
As citizens in a democratic republic, it is incumbent upon us to use good judgement in electing those who will hold the scepter and wield the sword on our behalf. So even as we do not judge, we must show good judgment.
We are not a theocracy and we are not electing leaders based on a litmus test of faith. But we are weighing them in the balance: are they people of wisdom, character, trustworthiness? Are they noble, beautiful, good and true? Do I trust them to wield the scepter and the sword with integrity, humility, honor, and love? Do they understand that to lead is to serve and that their leadership is derivative and subordinate to the real Sovereign?
In a democratic republic, you get to be the judge of that. Weigh the evidence of what comes out of the mouths of those running for President – for out of the heart the mouth speaks.