The evil in a man’s heart

DEMAND AND SUPPLY - Boo Chanco - The Philippine Star

Luke 6:45 says: “For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” In other words, if you want to know what a person really is, you simply listen to how he speaks.

The same Biblical passage explains that a good man brings good things out of the good stored in his heart. An evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored in his heart.

Our Lord Jesus Christ is teaching us how we can discern a person’s character. If a person is always angry, rude, lewd or immoral, you can be sure he harbors a lot of evil in his heart.

Of course, a politician can always put on a facade of goodness, but in the end the real character gets revealed. The cursing and the vile language are giveaways of his true character. The mouth speaks out of the abundance or overflow of the heart.

An explanation of the biblical passage I found on Google provides a practical application for all Filipinos as we prepare to vote next year.

“When we see evil consistently coming out of a person in word and in deed, we should not deceive ourselves by saying ‘he really is a good person inside; that’s just the way he talks.’”

Jesus is warning us that a man who consistently embraces sinful words and deeds is sure to have a wicked  heart. Rather than give that person the benefit of the doubt, we ought to recognize the “fruit” and respond accordingly. We could be talking of a future spouse or a candidate for public office.

Not that we are without sin. But we should be realistic about whom to trust and whom to allow to exert influence or power over us and the people we love.

Jesus is telling us to pray for and exercise the power of discernment and not be led blindly by seemingly loving and charismatic people who are really evil at heart. In our current national situation, we need to wake up people to recognize evil and to reject it.

Put another way, Dr. Nuelle Duterte, a medical doctor and a psychiatrist trained in New York and practicing in New Zealand, had this to say about our situation in a Facebook meme:

“Is anyone familiar with conditioning?

“Definition: Also called operant conditioning, instrumental conditioning. It is a process of changing behavior by rewarding or punishing a subject each time an action is performed until the subject associates the action with pleasure or distress.

“The Philippines is being conditioned to accept that corruption is normal, extrajudicial killing is justified, and criticism is akin to rebellion.

“There’s something terribly wrong when people are so easily conditioned that some even choose it over freedom of thought.”

Dr. Duterte knows what she speaks of not just because of her profession. She is a niece of the President and she grew up in Davao in the same community as the President’s. In a recent interview with Christian Esguerra of ANC, she expressed regret that she did not speak up sooner to warn the Filipino people about her uncle.

She said she didn’t initially believe her uncle would run for president. She thought “pang Davao lang sya”. She didn’t believe he had what it takes to be president. She was initially amused at the public adulation of her uncle until she realized the danger he posed on the country.

Dr. Duterte is probably the least surprised that her uncle is constantly cursing and bullying when he addresses the nation. Her uncle’s incoherent manner of speaking in a stream of consciousness manner must have bothered the psychiatrist in her.

Dr. Duterte said in so many words that the country deserves better. Unfortunately, enough of our countrymen are still mesmerized by her uncle.

Recent developments are proving the fears of Dr. Duterte to be correct. The reactions of the former mayor to corruption charges being investigated by the Senate is out of whack for a president who promised to fight corruption.

Attacking the Red Cross because of Dick Gordon makes no sense. The Red Cross is a useful ally during this COVID crisis as it fills up the shortcomings of the DOH and IATF.

Overflowing hospitals? There are Red Cross tents nearby to accommodate desperate patients. Vaccination? There are Red Cross buses going around the countryside vaccinating people. COVID testing? Red Cross is doing about half of all tests nationwide, and many more.

The President has also been very defensive about the cast of characters suspected to have connived to gain undue profits from government purchases during this pandemic. He even ordered his Cabinet members to first seek his clearance before appearing in the Senate investigation.

The people who voted for Duterte in 2016 probably thought they were voting for change. The only change we got is the loss of civility in public discourse. The corruption remained, even worsened.

We now see desperation among our people because our Great Leader is bent on creating divisions instead of inspiring and unifying us to beat the common enemy: COVID.

This Facebook post of a netizen sums things up:

“Lord, help our country. We can only turn to You to save us from the pandemic and the evil that is controlling and running our nation. Helplessness. Sickness. Weariness. Frustration. Hunger. Death ang dinadaanan ng taong bayan.

“And people in our government still can’t get their acts together on what to do? Walang game plan. Walang strategy... and the NG is in denial that corruption is deeply rooted...

“If he doesn’t know what to do to get us out of this rut, make him give way to people who know what to do…”

Well, learn from the Bible. Recognize the evil upon us. We have heard him curse God, called God stupid for dying on the cross in Calvary. If he can’t respect God, why expect him to respect us mere mortals?

We must work hard to get relief next May. Why choose to continue suffering from the tyranny of incompetence and corruption? We deserve better.



Boo Chanco’s email address is bchanco@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @boochanco

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