Summary: Let’s look at the Book of Proverbs & see some of the different ways heart trouble in the inner person affects us. Perhaps you will recognize one of these symptoms which is warning you of heart trouble in your inner being.
PROVERBS 12: 20, 25
Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of men and women in America. Heart failure accounts for 40% of all U.S. deaths. That’s more than all forms of cancer combined.
Why is heart disease so deadly? One reason is that many people are slow to seek help when symptoms arise. Heart symptoms aren’t always intense or obvious, and they vary from person to person. Because it can be hard to make sense of heart symptoms, doctors warn against ignoring possible warning signs, toughing them out, waiting to see if they go away, or being quick to blame them on other less serious causes [heartburn, muscle soreness etc.].
Though this type of heart trouble refers to the physical heart, there are many hearts that are troubled in other ways also. This kind of heart trouble comes from the inner man. [Heart can refer to the mind, thinking or understanding, the will or determination, the emotions, appetites or passions.] Let’s look at the Book of Proverbs and see some of the different ways this type of heart trouble affects us. Perhaps you will recognize one of these symptoms this is warning you of heart trouble in your inner being.
# 1. Proverb 12:20 teaches that we can be troubled by deceit in the heart. "Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil, but counselors of peace have joy" (NASB).
Deceit is here traced to its fountain, the heart. Deceit characterizes the wicked (12:5; 6:14; 11:18; 14:8; 15:4; 26:19, 24, 26) but joy comes to people who desire and work for peace (shalom, "well-being") of others. [The word plot (haras) literally is plow (3:29) indicating making a furrow or row(s).]
There are those who imagine, or plan, how to do evil—how to get ahead at the expense of everyone else. If you want to have a joyous day, however, imagine, or plan, ways to bring peace to the lives of others.
Two slick CON MEN boarded a train that runs between New York and Boston and singled out a prosperous looking man. Sitting down next to him they invited him to join them in a game of cards. It wasn’t long until the unsuspecting victim owed one of the other players several hundred dollars.
The winner agreed to take a check, but once he had it in his hand he acted conscious-stricken and tore the check up. "I’ never thought you’d lose so much money," he said! "Let’s call the whole thing off." Impressed with his apparent generosity, the loser insisted on writing out a new check.
Later, when, he received his bank statement, he discovered that both checks had been cashed. The crook had apparently slip the first one into his pocket and tore up a blank one instead. His seeming generosity was a clever scheme of deception.
We would all agree that such deception is despicable. Yet we must be aware that we all have a tendency to be deceitful. We deceive by wearing a mask of flattery, winking at wrong; or saying we are just trying to be diplomatic, but we ate really following the example of the devil, the father of lies (Jn;8:44). Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice To deceive! Sir Walter Scott
# 2. Proverb 12:25 reveals the troubles that make for a heavy heart. "Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down, but a good word makes it glad."
Anxiety can readily cause a mild depression. This burden or heaviness in the heart strains and drains life. This is true not only figuratively but literally because we know that many heart problems are directly related to stress. It is well known today in the fields of medicine and psychology, anxiety can weigh a man down (Lit. "causes a man to bow down" or depresses him). An empathetic kind word, though, can give an anxious, depressed person support and can cheer him up (12:18).
In Philippians 1:10 Paul says we are to approve things that are excellent and everyone has within him at least one quality to approve. Therefore, giving a good word not only brightens the heart of the hearer, but fulfills reason for speaking. Such inner refreshing is healing to both hearts.
# 3. Proverb 14:13 reveals a sorrowful heart. "Even in laughter the heart may be in pain, and the end of joy may be grief."
By his laughter a person may give the impression that he is enjoying life when actually in his heart he is hurting emotionally (10; 15:13b). Present circumstances or appearances can be deceiving. The phrase "joy may end in grief" refers the fact that no one, even those who are presently experiencing joy, knows what is around the bend.
Why are so many comedians prone to drugs and destruction? Because only the Lord can bring true joy. The world can laugh, but it can’t have joy. [End, Eccl 2:1, 2]