How do you know what a man truly is? According to today's proverb this is known simply by knowing his heart. It is not the outside image that someone presents to us that truly reflects who they are. It is what they are in their hearts that matters - and that truly reflects who they are.
When we bend over and look into a calm pond on a clear day, we will see reflected in water the image of our face. That image will be a faithful reproduction of who we are - at least what our face looks like. We can trust what we see in that image. Then we read that just in the way that this happens - the heart of man reflects man. But the question we need to ask is this, "What do we see when we look into the heart of man?"
The answer to the above question has everything to do with when you are looking into the heart of man. At times we look into the heart of man and we see very wonderful things. The heart of man can reflect the glory of God. The heart of men can experience the depths of love, compassion, kindness, and relections of the God who created us. At other times we might cringe in horror as we see the depths of depravity in the wars and atrocities that have existed in the heart of men. The heights and depths we see from the magnificent beauty in a painting or a poem to the darkness of the most horrendous acts of violence and injustice must give pause to some who do not have the perspective of the Scriptures from which to understand these tremendous differences.
The Word of God helps us understand why mankind has such a Jekyll and Hyde history. We are the direct creation of Almighty God, and as such have astrounding capacities that reflect His character and person. Yet, we sold our birthright for a mess of porridge, when our head, Adam, chose to disobey God. That moment in history is called, the Fall. Without the Scritpures we will not grasp how far we fell in that moment. The glory of God we were to reflect was marred. The result is a world in which death reigns - and in which we see the heart of man at one moment blessing someone, and in the next cursing them. James tells us, out of the same mouth comes blessing and cursing, my brothers, this should not be. Yet because of sin that is what happens. This reflects our hearts - for Jesus Himself said, "Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks."
The heart of man reflects the man. That is the reality in which we live every day. And if we are honest with ourselves, we are often shocked at the things that are in our hearts. We may want to do the good, but in the end the very evil we hate seems to rule in our hearts. We may do good one moment - and in the next find ourselves with the most heinous of thoughts running through our minds. What are we to do? The heart reflects to us that we are fallen - we are sinful - we are in need of change. In this regard, and this one alone, I encourage you to listen to your heart. You will not hear such things unless the Holy Spirit is convicting you of the sin which is indicatve of our fall from God. Listen to what God is saying to your heart - and embrace the truth. This truth is that your heart reflects that you are guilty before God - in need of His mercy and grace. The truth is that you need the grace of God in the gospel of Jesus Christ. You need your sins to be forgiven and to be made acceptable in God's sight by what Jesus Christ did at the cross. You need new life - to be born again - and to experience God's life which is the only life that can change us and reflect a different image in our hearts.
Jeremiah the prophet brought us a message from God. His message was that the heart of man is deceitful above all else, and is desperately wicked. No one can understand his own heart. But God is the one Who searches the heart - Who helps us understand our need - and Who then meets that need in what He has done through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. If we can only see our hearts in that light - in the light of the mirror of God's Word - then as our heart is reflected to us, we'd see our need and run to Jesus Christ for forgiveness, grace, and new life.