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  • Dr. Stieglitz

Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 23:7

Proverbs 23:7

"For as he thinks within himself, so he is. He says to you, "Eat and drink" but his heart is not with you"

This is one of the most famous passages of Scripture in the 21st century.

The KJV version reads, "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he." It has been often quoted as, "For as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he."

This verse gives us a key insight into the way people act and live. It is their thoughts that control lives. In this case Solomon is directing our attention to the thoughts of a "selfish" person (the Hebrew reads: one who has an evil eye). This is the person who, no matter what they say, their strategy and goal is some personal benefit.

Many have seen, in this verse, a clue to the fact that the battle for a great life is a battle for the right thoughts. If you allow yourself to think and dwell on selfish, bitter, wicked, or even non-productive thoughts, then you will become like that. The Apostle Paul labels this battle for the mind as the key arena in the spiritual battle. (2 Corinthians 2:3-5)

What do you find yourself thinking about? It is how to get even with someone who hurt you? Is it how to make sure that you get yours? Is it how to benefit others?

The point of this passage is not to teach us that what we think about is how we will live. That is a valid application of that verse, but the verse is designed to help us understand that the person who regularly lives outside of God's moral boundary structures – Lying, Stealing, Adultery, Murder, Blasphemy, Rebellion, Coveting – does not want your best. If this type of person is treating you nicely, then they are up to something. They are always looking for an angle. They are always all about themselves. There is a hook under all that bait.

Solomon is giving a warning that no matter what things look like, if a person who does these others things is all of a sudden nice to you, watch out. Get away... run. Because the hook is coming.

This proverb is in a series of negative proverbs that are designed to tell us what not to do. You could do these things. They are not immoral, but they are not wise. This particular proverb is a part of a warning involving letting a wicked, selfish person be really nice to you. You are being played and he will reel you in. Clearly the advice is don't let someone like this be nice to you. You will come to give back more than you ever got.

Until tomorrow,

Gil Stieglitz

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