Proverbs 15:13-15 offers us three lessons on matters of the heart [i.e. mind, thoughts and emotions]. In a previous study of Proverbs 15:13 we learned that a man’s countenance, in an unguarded moment, can serve as a mirror of his soul.
Proverbs 15:13 – “A merry [glad; joyful] heart maketh a cheerful [pleasing, good] countenance: but by sorrow [hurt, emotional wounds] of the heart [mind, thoughts, emotions] the spirit [breath, courage] is broken [afflicted; wounded].”
Solomon gives us a second lesson on matters of the heart in Proverbs 15:14 when he contrasts the mental appetite of the wise and the foolish.
Proverbs 15:14 – “The heart [mind, thoughts, emotions] of him that hath understanding [discernment] seeketh knowledge [begs, desires the knowledge of good and evil]: but the mouth [words, utterance] of fools [stupid, silly, dull of learning] feedeth [graze] on foolishness [silliness; insolence; making a mockery of sin].”
Physicians and dietitians warn us, “you are what you eat”. True to our nature, the majority of Americans ignore that warning and the tragedy of being overweight has become epidemic and the consequences irreversible for many.
What is true physically is true spiritually—your spiritual and mental appetite defines you. A good man, a man of godly insight and discernment, yearns for knowledge. He reads, studies and meditates in the Word of God.
Unlike the foolish who crave the banal and feed their sin nature at the trough of moral debauchery; a righteous man has a spiritual appetite for God’s Word.
Psalm 119:15-16 – “I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways. 16 I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word.”
Psalm 119:97 – “O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.”
A third proverb, Proverbs 15:15, stresses the importance of keeping a good attitude and godly perspective on life and circumstances.
Books, magazine articles and blogs are written endeavoring to address the importance of maintaining a right attitude, regardless of one’s circumstances. Several pithy sayings come to mind on this subject; for instance: “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade” [of course, a little sweetener goes a long way]. Someone else has said, “Life is what you make of it.”
Angry, bitter and frustrated describes too many “woe is me” Christians. Our churches and pews are full of what people describe as “Drama Queens.” Life is a crisis when they do not get their way! They are miserable and miserable to be with!
Notice the man with a “merry heart hath a continual feast” (15:15). Now there is someone you want with you when things get tough! Someone who rests in the shelter of God’s love and trusts Him. A Christian who encourages you in the midst of your sorrow with the words of Nehemiah, “neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is our strength” (Nehemiah 8:10).