Proverbs 23:7 AMP- For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. As one who reckons, he says to you, eat and drink, yet his heart is not with you [but is grudging the cost].
I’ve always heard this scripture discussed in reference to telling us not to think negative thoughts so that our lives don’t reflect that negativity. But recently I studied this verse and found that the context for it is completely different. Hopefully you all will find it as interesting as I did! I encourage you to read Proverbs 23:1-9, in the Amplified version if possible because it really makes the text clear, before reading this article further so that you have the full picture in mind as you read.
The two uses of the word heart in this scripture have different translations. The first is nephesh meaning “breath,” equivalent to “mind” and the second is leb and actually means “heart.” This scripture refers to a person who secretly is greedy and offers his friends something begrudgingly, yet pretends on the outside to be glad to give to his friends. Yet because God sees both the mind and the true intent of the heart, what the person has thought and what he truly feels, cancels the pretend offer he extends. In short, the person might be able to fool others with their phony attitude but they can’t fool God!
Have you ever been in need of something- a ride, money, or something else- and a friend seemed to gladly offer to give it to you but they later brought it up every chance they got??? If we keep reading, verses 8 and 9 basically tell us that we should not just accept their help because of their lip service, we must think about the effects of accepting their help. We all need help at times and we all have had to lean on someone, but the moment relying on someone exceeds godly wisdom, we’ve gone too far. Would the God who knows you have the need put you in the hands of someone who would meet the need but not reflect Him while doing it? Absolutely not! I don’t know about you, but as I thought about this scripture I realized that the times in life when I have leaned on someone just because they WOULD do it but they really didn’t WANT to do it, their attitude always made me feel I was indebted to THEM. But if God is going to meet our needs through someone else’s hands, He would not put us in a position where we would glorify the person more than the one who actually made the provision. If accepting someone’s help makes you feel like you have to or requires you to give away God’s glory, RUN!!
Every need we have should be addressed spiritually before it is addressed physically. What do I mean? If I am in need of a $100, my first act should not be to text or call the people in my phone who I know have it. My first response to my need should be to give it to God in prayer. We must remember, the enemy sees our need too and he desires to fill it with someone or something that will keep us bound because his help never comes without a cost. So if we seek God FIRST to send a way for the need to be met and acknowledge that we desire to rely on Him, we have set ourselves in the right direction. This DOES NOT mean that you send out a bunch of texts first, pray, and then make whoever says yes first the answer to your prayer. God is ALWAYS the first step. As we submit to God FIRST in spirit, our flesh should then follow. “But what if I need it NOW!?” The more urgent the need, the more important it is to seek God in the proper order. Imagine how pleased God is when even in the midst of a “right now need,” we take the time to put Him first. If you find yourself in a position where you feel you cannot do it in that order, I urge you to check yourself to determine if the need is really that urgent or if you would rather be fulfilled by seeing the need met just to satisfy YOU. If your comfort is more important than seeing God’s glory manifest in your life, Houston we have a problem!
1 Peter 5:7 tells us that God is concerned with everything that concerns us. This means that if you have a need, He has a desire to see it filled. Don’t become bound to UNcheerful givers just because you need help. ALWAYS seek God first because His promise to take care of you is not time dependent, it’s faith dependent [Matthew 6:33]. Don’t take provision from people without first giving your need to God!! -Adyre