As a face is reflected in water,
so the heart reflects the real person
(Proverbs 27:19 NLT).
Solomon gets introspective with this verse. He uses the example of self-assessment and then being assessed by what others see in our actions, our speech, and our motives. This proverb needs some examination. God knows us inside and out, but others know us only by what they observe and hear.
We must see ourselves in the mirror of God’s assessment, the intent of our heart. God knows how we think, consider others and serve them. Godly character is built on spiritual action based on his Word.
What Others See
Do we love others as much as we love ourselves? Do we show it? What we do is viewed by others as part of our character. The optimum here would be to ask ourselves . . . “What would Jesus do?” Then do it that way.
Our challenge is to view ourselves as God would and act on it. Our heart, one with God’s, should be the compelling reason for what we think, do, and say. God knows us inside and out, but others know us only by what they observe and hear.
Prayer: Father, reveal to me how to respond to others, to meet peoples’ needs, and to encourage them. Thank you for lifting me up daily. Selah.
Every man’s way is right in his own eyes,
but the Lord weighs and examines the hearts
[of people and their motives]
(Proverbs 21:2 AMP).
Twice Solomon makes this statement to make sure the reader understands that the Lord knows what they are thinking and doing (see also Proverbs 16:2). Yes, our desire is to do right. However, we often struggle in how we are to live it out. The Lord wants us to think and do what is right all the time.
With repetition of Proverbs 16:2, God brings to our attention our self-centered thinking or conceit. Some Bible commentators * say these verses are because the Israelites were prone to waywardness in following God. Today we have thoughts of pleasure, profit, or self-righteous assuming these ways will end in our happiness too.
As King David said. . . “Examine me, O Lord, and try me; to test my mind and heart” (Psalm 26:2 NASB) We know this Scripture, but do we make it personal? We need to pray this verse. It addresses the inner-man and deep things he already knows even before we do!
As David prayed in Psalm 26, so should we want to have our heart examined by God. This will prayer keep our thoughts and intentions to those God has and not merely ones we conjure up. The Lord wants us to think and do what is right all the time.
Prayer: Father, thank you for loving me even when you see the wrong motives of my heart. Help me to follow your ways, to do and think what is pleases you.
*Proverbs 21:2, Matthew Poole’s Commentary, biblehub.com and Proverbs 21:2, Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible, biblehub.com.