November 3, 2008 Ration

Luke 6:45

“The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”

How important the treasure of the heart is. The mouth speaks out of the abundance of the heart. It follows that the hand writes out of the abundance of the heart. The body acts out of the heart’s musings. The mind imagines in the direction that the heart leans. Our good or evil manifestations are simply and honestly the evidence of the affections of our hearts. Everything that a person does flows from his heart. How very important, then, is the treasure of our hearts, artists.

Jesus says here that the good person, out of the good treasure of his heart, produces good. Notice that the “produced good” here is not even addressing the aesthetics or the skill of the “good” produced. Content delivered is surely a partial evidence of the treasure of the heart, but the heart is very deceitful and is capable of putting forth a technically good content from an affectionately evil intent.

Artists, what do our hearts treasure? This is the question to ask. It is the good treasure or the evil treasure that our heart embraces that tells the mouth what and how to speak. Where our heart treasures pride, then our mouth will produce pride. Pride is very capable of donning a good-looking aesthetic or producing a good, skillful work, but the pride of man’s heart does nothing from faith. Our proud heart treasures itself above others and surely above God. This is an evil treasure. Works that are built from this treasury are worked in evil. Again, aesthetics and demonstrated skill are not even the issue here.

Where we pursue artistic excellence for the sake of artistic excellence, and that pursued excellence is for the sake of pursuing our pride, our glory, or our praise, then we are drawing from an evil treasure in our heart and we will only "produce" evil – excellent in its artistry though it may be. But where we pursue artistic excellence from a heart that treasures faithfulness, truth, God-fearing zeal, gentleness, generosity, honesty, and servant-hood, then this good that Jesus is referring to would be produced.

Out of the abundance of our hearts we do our artistic “speaking.” This is the first attention we must give our day: to secure a good treasure in our hearts. The Word of God is the mine to line our heart’s pockets with. Fill your mind with Christ, artists. Fill your mind with the gospel. Fill your mind with the truth and weight of the whole of scripture. Bury yourself in its gold and you will have so much to speak of.

Since the whole world was created by God, then everything in and relating to the world is fair game for conversation. Pick your matter, then wrestle and speak until your heart’s content! That is, speak from a heart that treasures as God treasures, for then your work will be good. And yes, God immensely treasures faithfulness with aesthetics and skill. Do you remember His reaction to the work of the word of His mouth in the glory of what He created (Genesis 1)?

Artists, may our hearts abound with the treasury of God. For out of such a heart will an artistic mouth produce what is good.

Jason Harms


© 2008 The Gaius Project