“An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.” – Proverbs 18:15 ESV
We’ve all heard of hearth healthy living, but what about heart smart? The Book of Proverbs puts a lot of emphasis on the heart. In fact, in chapter four we’re warned, “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life” (Proverbs 4:23 NLT). In the Hebrew way of thinking, the heart is the central part of our very being. It is the core of our existence. It refers to our inner man, and includes our mind, will, heart, and understanding. It encompasses our moral character and is the seat of our appetites, emotions and passions. So the heart is a huge part of who we are. Which is why Solomon warns us to guard it. And the prophet Jeremiah warns us that “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?” (Jeremiah 17:9 NLT) That word, “deceitful” can mean twisted, sly, slippery and insidious. It is NOT to be trusted. Left to its own devices, the human heart is a dangerous thing. Unless it has been “educated” by God. Which is why Solomon also encourages us to make the acquisition of God’s wisdom our highest priority. We’re to search for it like silver. We’re to cry out for it, tune our ears to it, and concentrate on getting it. But when we get the wisdom of God, He doesn’t place it in our heads. No, God puts it in our hearts – in our inner man. “For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will fill you with joy, wise choices will watch over you. Understanding will keep you safe” (Proverbs 2:10-11 NLT). God places His wisdom inside us. He makes our deceitful hearts trustworthy and true. He equips us with the tools we need to make wise choices, to “understand what is right, just and fair” (Proverbs 2:9 NLT). We “will find the right way to go” (Proverbs 2:9b NLT). God makes our hearts wise. And wise hearts are extremely beneficial and helpful. “The wise in heart accept commands” (Proverbs 10:8a NIV). “The one who is wise in heart is called discerning” (Proverbs 16:21a NIV). A child with a wise heart will cause his parents to rejoice (Proverbs 23:15). A heart with a high God-IQ will guard us, guide us, and has the capacity to save us from making wrong choices and will keep us on the path that God has for us. And when we’re heart smart, we’re always willing to learn. We crave knowledge about who God is and who we are. We love to learn about our faults and gain insights into our deficiencies. Knowledge of our sins allows us to acknowledge them to God. We’re able to stay confessed up and enjoy complete forgiveness from God. The smart heart is a listening, learning heart. It depends on God as its source of wisdom, and relies on Him to equip us with knowledge and understanding of His ways. We gain common sense and learn how to apply the truth of God to the realities of life. The smart heart is malleable and in a constant state of transformation at the hands of God.
“In Proverbs, wise people guard their hearts, not only keeping harmful influences out but, more important, by putting wise teaching in and keeping them there.” – Paul E. Koptak, The NIV Application Commentary, Proverbs
“He that has true wisdom in the inward part; who knows his heart and the haughtiness of it; who has the fear of God in it, which is the beginning of wisdom; who is wise unto salvation…who has not head knowledge and wisdom only, but heart knowledge and wisdom, and behave wisely in his life and conversation,…such a man is called, reckoned, accounted, and spoken well of, as a prudent man among all wise and knowing persons.” – Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible
Father, I want to be wise of heart, not just wise of head. I want Your wisdom to permeate my entire being so that I live according to Your standards and in keeping with Your will at all times. I want to be educated of heart so that I know what is right, just and fair; and inherently know the right way to go. Amen.
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men