From The Heart

“As in water face reflects face, so the heart of man reflects man.” (Prov. 27:19)

   What is in the heart is what really counts. Often you hear one say, “God knows what is in my heart.” True! Encouraging! Frightening! No one, except the Lord, knows fully and completely what is in the heart. The word “heart” appears some 822 times in scripture, meaning and denoting three functions: intellect, will, and emotion. Intellectually we come to know what God requires, we will to do what He says, and then experience the emotion of joy. Our obedience must be “from the heart.” (Romans 6:17)

   The heart is not simply a reservoir, but a fountain. Peter Marshall once preached a sermon before a joint session of Congress entitled, “The Keeper of The Springs.” The water in the stream down in the valley is the same as the spring in the mountain. What is in the heart inevitably comes to the surface of our lives. It’s also been said “What is down in the well comes up in the bucket.” Jesus said it this way, “…the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart.” (Matthew 12:34) He went on to explain, “The good man brings out of his good treasure (his heart) what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil.” (v.35) Solomon wrote, “The heart of the wise instructs his mouth and adds persuasiveness to his lips.” (Proverbs 16:23) When we speak we judge and reveal ourselves.

   Theodore Roosevelt once said, “An ignorant bad man may steal from the freight cars on a railroad. If you educate that man without changing his heart, all you’re doing is making it possible for him to steal the whole railroad.” Given the way things are in the corporate world today, Roosevelt’s statement sounds rather up-to-date doesn’t it? Integrity is of the heart.

   One can put up a front. A facade! “Like an earthen vessel overlaid with silver dross are burning lips and a wicked heart.” (Proverbs 26:23) Sooner or later a person’s heart is seen by the general tone of his words and actions, just as his face is reflected by water.

   All the knowledge we have of our personal appearance comes from looking at some reflecting surface. Nature provides a natural looking glass, the lake, the stream, or even a smaller quantity of water. There is also a course for reflecting the heart: what we say, what we do, how we act, our temperament, our hopes and desires. Life is a reflection of the heart; the heart is a reflection of the man. Solomon said it over three thousand years ago, “For as he thinks within himself, so he is.” (Proverbs 23:7) What you think and what you do is a result of what you are and who you’ve become.

How do you look?

In Him, Andy