For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee. (Proverbs 23:7 KJV)
The Hebrew construction for “as he thinketh in his heart, so is he” is a little challenging for translators. The ESV translates this part as “for he is like one who is inwardly calculating”. Whatever the case, the KJV version translation above has some truth for us to review in this devotional.
The setting is that of someone who invites his friend to have a meal. He gives the impression that he wants his friend to enjoy the meal and says to him “eat and drink” but inwardly in his heart, he is thinking something different. The friend can only hear what he is saying but cannot see his thoughts. This scripture makes clear that there are two personalities being portrayed by the host but the “real” person is what he is thinking inside and not what he says.
As he thinks in his heart, so is he. The state of a person’s heart is the reflection of the real person. Notice what he calls “heart” in this verse. It is the person’s thoughts. The Lord pays attention to the state of a person’s heart and not just the words they say or things they do. In our fallen human ingenuity, we have learned how to say or do things to give the impression we want to convey, whereas our hearts are in a different place altogether.
What is hypocrisy? Have you ever acted or spoken in a way that was different from what was truly in your heart, that is, your desires, thoughts, emotions, etc?
APPLY THE WORD
We all have an inner and outer life. God wants both but in a certain order. God takes no delight in hypocrisy. Christianity is not “fake it until it becomes real”. Christianity is a transformed heart that then lives a transformed life. Do not fake it. Let the Spirit change your heart first. That already took place at the new birth. You just need to renew your mind by the Word through the power of the Spirit.
Ask the Spirit to help you live the Christian life from inside out.