by Simeon Young Sr.
“Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things” (Matthew 12:34-35). We can program our minds to speak words of profanity or words of praise. Each moment of our lives, we are writing our own personal program by what we see, what we read, what we think, and what we say.
On March 27, 1977, two Boeing 747 airliners collided on the runway of the airport in Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain, killing 583 people. One source said, “The accident has the highest number of fatalities (excluding ground fatalities) of any single accident in aviation history. It occurred as a result of a synchronicity of a chain of events, anyone of which having not transpired would have prevented the accident.”
Norman Williams (one of the passengers on the Pan American plane), in his chilling account of what happened, said that his plane was sitting on the runway waiting for clearance to take off when a KLM plane bore down on them in a broadside approach. He said that the nose of the KLM plane cleared the Pan American plane, but the landing cut through the fuselage of his plane like a hot knife cutting through butter. Thousands of gallons of jet fuel doused the passengers in the cabin of the Pan American plane, instantly turning the cabin into an inferno and the passengers into human torches.
As I listened to Williams’ account, I was struck by what he said about the burning passengers. He said he saw and heard them cursing God while they were burning to death-they knew they were about to die. Williams said after he recovered from his own physical and psychological injuries, he could not forget the sight and sound of dying people cursing God. In fact, he was haunted by the experience so profoundly that he set out on a journey to research what to him was a startling phenomenon. What he discovered was not encouraging. He found that research shows that people who have spent years developing a pattern of cursing often curse when they know they are dying. He said recordings taken from the “black boxes” of planes that had crashed revealed that often the last words of pilots who knew they were about to die were curse words.
Many years ago while I was living in Houston, Texas, and serving as assistant pastor to O. W Williams, I prayed for an unsaved man who had been in a serious automobile accident. After my visit, I was told that the man was normally modest and mild mannered. However, when I walked into the hospital room, he hurled curses at me, and with a vengeance. I had never met him until that day, so it was an automatic reflex action, not personal. His violent outbursts required that he be strapped to his bed to protect him from himself and others. Apparently, a blow to his head had triggered the release of long-suffused emotions.
Jesus taught that we are able to store good things and evil things in our minds. If we store “evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, [and] blasphemies” in our minds, that is what we will retrieve. (See Matthew 15:19.) On the other hand, if we store things that are of a good report, things that are true, honest, just, pure, and lovely, that is what we will retrieve. (See Philippians 4:8.) Jesus further said, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things” (Matthew 12:34-35).
We can program our minds to speak words of profanity or words of praise. Each moment of our lives, we are writing our own personal program by what we see, what we read, what we think, and what we say. If we program our minds for evil things that is what will come forth in an unguarded moment.
A few days before Robert Fuller’s death, I heard him say words like: “Hallelujah.” “Thank you, Jesus.” “I praise you, Jesus.” The remarkable thing about it is that he was under heavy, pain-reducing medication. His wife and children confirmed that he did that many times. This godly man had been writing his personal program for many years. Now, in the closing hours of his life, He praised God, not mechanically as a mindless robot, but spontaneously out of a heart filled with praise.