By Allen White
“The purposes of a man's heart are deep waters, but a man of understanding draws them out.” Proverbs 20:5 (NIV)
Deep waters seem mysterious and certainly difficult to reach. Maybe you’ve watched a television program where scientists explore the deep in a submarine and discover strange, new creatures. It’s not a place that many people go.
This proverb says that “the purposes of a man’s heart are deep waters.” At times those deep waters are mysterious. You and I both do things at times that we really don’t understand why we did what we did. If that’s happened to you, it simply means that you’re normal. If it keeps happening to you, it might mean that you lack some self-awareness. The good news is that you and I can become more self-aware.
“A man of understanding draws [the purposes] out.” This phrase can go either of two directions. One way to look at this is if I am the man of understanding, then by reflection, prayer, meditation, God’s Word, and the Holy Spirit, I can discover what is going on deep in my heart. This means that the noise must be turned off, so the process can occur. This may be as simple as praying and asking God to reveal these things.
The other way to see this verse is that the “man of understanding” is someone else. Perhaps this is an older, wiser person who can help us understand what’s going on. This could be a counselor or pastor. Sometimes it’s easier for someone else to see what is going on than it is for us to see things for ourselves. When we look at ourselves, sometimes it’s too personal, so we miss it. The insight of another can be a great help in discovering the purposes of our hearts.
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