The good man out of the treasure of his heart brings forth
what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is
evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.

Luke 6: 45


Jesus was speaking to and teaching a large crowd that had
gathered around Him. They had come from far away to experience this new teacher
who had miraculous powers and who possessed a manner that was unlike any that
they had seen before. Here Jesus is speaking in a style that most in this crowd
would have been familiar with, for He was using proverbial expressions to state
a series of related thoughts about living as God intended them to do. The
challenge for this audience, just as it is our challenge, is to understand the moral
and the ethical basis for this simple proverb. The question would be, “What is
good, and how do I become this good person?”


In my own experience, I desire to be good. Being or doing
evil is never my game plan for the day. Yet, the actual actions, words, and
thoughts that define the nature of parts of my life are certainly not good
ones. They are thoughtless, self-centered, hurtful, and sin-infused. They are
clearly not Christ focused and God image defining. So, it would seem to me that
these aspects of my life are the picture of how the “evil man” lives. Yet, I
know from the absolute assurance of God’s Word that through and in Christ I am
redeemed from evil and that I am now and forever more a “good man”. This truth
leads me to another question, “What is the nature of the treasure that I am
storing up in my heart?”


That which is good is that which comes from the heart and
the mind of God, for God, Himself, is the only definer of good and is, in fact,
the definition of it. Therefore, it is essential for me to stay closely and
continually engaged with the truths that are contained in His Word. It is also
essential to talk with God about and through all of the day. We call this
prayer, but that term almost seems too limiting. This conversation is more like
a series of major threads that run through my life and that hold it all
together while shaping its course. Thus prayer is virtually ceaseless and is
vital to life much as is oxygen. What it is to be a good person is also shaped
by the community of faith where I choose to live out my days. Finally, the good
treasure that is Christ in me becomes all the more glorious as I use it to
bring Him into the world. God does not intend for the good treasure of the
gospel to be sealed off in a private store room. Christ calls us to touch our
world with His goodness which is justice, mercy, grace, and love.