Today’s message may be a little difficult for some of us to understand right away. It was difficult for me to study and hear what God said to me about being a true person. I didn’t even know what a true person was. My mother used to tell me often, “That is not who you are,” especially when I was about to do something she knew I shouldn’t do. My mom knew something about me that I didn’t know. How could that be? I have always wanted to be the best person that I could be. Don’t all people want that for themselves? My mom never really said this is who you are; she simply pointed out who I was not. So, one day, I asked God, not expecting an answer, why wasn’t I the person I was supposed to be? Then it came to me. I wasn’t who I was supposed to be because I kept trying to be who I was not. Now that sounded like my mom.
Then one day I was studying Chapter 23 of the book of Proverbs. It is a chapter that warns us about hanging out with the wrong people because they do not have our good at heart. Perhaps verse 7 of this chapter is the most widely known. Proverbs 23:7 says, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” Many of us paraphrase this scripture to say as a man thinks so is he. That is partially true but not all the truth that God meant. Paraphrasing is ok, it’s just not exact. I always tell you this is what a scripture means to me. I do that because I want you to know there are times when I am paraphrasing something that you should read for yourself. With this verse, there is more said than what we typically say.
But is a man really the product of his thinking? Does the life of a man follow his thinking? I believe the answer to both these questions is yes. But Proverbs 23:7 is meant to be taken in the context of the verses before it and after it. When you read the verse in context, you will see that the reference to “for as he thinks in his heart” is not talking about you or me but about other people. Now don’t be excited too fast. For you and me are the other people when someone else is considering this verse; they are looking at us. So how does this help us know our true persons? Because in verse 6 it tells us we should not eat the bread of a miser, nor desire his delicacies. Now a miser is just a reference to a person we might associate with. Then there is more to verse 7. It goes on to say that the miser tells you to eat and to drink, but his heart is not with you. He does not have your best interest at heart. Verse 8 says the morsel you have eaten, you will vomit up. I see this saying what the miser offers to us will come back out of us. Our true persons lie at the heart of the motives we have in our hearts. We must know the heart of ourselves if we are to know the heart of others.
Proverbs 23:7 is powerful. We must be careful of how we think because thinking leads to actions. Life follows our thinking. If we want to know our true selves, we must learn to recognize the true persons of others. To recognize the true persons of others, we must get past what they do and get to the heart of who they are and why they do what they do. A miser is one who hoards things of value and gives away as little as possible or nothing at all. But this also means this person has already hoarded the good things of the heart before we see it in their actions. The miser’s heart is not with you; it is after something it wants from you. Oh now, there is our warning.
So, in a way we should be careful never to hang around someone whose heart is to hoard what is good and to give sparingly. Why? Because it will cost us something. They give so they can get more. They love so they can get more love. They friend so they can be thought of more as friends. They care so they can be cared about more. They forgive so you must forgive more. Whatever you give the person whose heart is not with you, it will cost you something of your heart.
A person whose heart is with you will have you at the heart of their lives. They will give you all they have. Their every motivation will be for your best interest. And finally, they will let you see their heart and their true motives because they want you to know the true person they want to be for the true person in you.
So, we ought to let the true persons in us shine through to the eyes and hearts of others. They will see our actions for sure, but they will also know the true persons of the heart we are. We must learn to be who we are at the heart of our motives. That’s where the true person lives. That is where you will find the person you are supposed to be. That’s who you are. Live a Delivered Life. Love you.