Strengths of the Heart, Part 2: An Understanding Heart

A series that examines how God uses the strengths of the human heart to build relationships

In scripture, the term “heart” is used to denote a person’s inner self. The heart is the center of spiritual activity, moral understanding, and human will.

God uses the human heart to build relationships. In particular, He is able to use a teachable heart (Part 1), an understanding heart (Part 2), and an active heart (Part 3).

The story of King Solomon explains the value God places on an understanding heart.

When God gave King Solomon the opportunity to ask for anything he desired, the king answered, “Give me an understanding heart so that I can govern your people well and know the difference between right and wrong” (1 Kings 3:9, NLT)

So pleased was God with Solomon’s request that He granted him not only an understanding heart, but riches and honor, too (1 Kings 3).

An Understanding Heart Is Humble

man kneeling and praying

Image: Mister Joshua Ray

Solomon knew He had received God’s favor – “O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of David my father” – and he acknowledged his need: “I am but a little child. I do not know how to go out or come in” (1 Kings 3:7, ESV). He did not view his circumstances as a result of his own doing. So when God invited Solomon to make a request, Solomon did so out of humility rather than pride.

Do you have the same humility as you seek to understand your differences with those around you? God has bestowed His favor on you through granting you specific strengths and by placing those around you with unique strengths. A humble heart invites God to work to cultivate deeper insight about those strengths.

An Understanding Heart Is Purposeful

Solomon was tasked with filling David’s shoes and leading Israel. His responsibilities were enormous.

Careful deliberation meant his response to God’s invitation was neither careless nor impulsive. Rather, Solomon’s request of God was purposeful and two-fold. He wanted understanding in order to do his job well and he wanted to be able to distinguish between right and wrong.

Don’t you?

How to Grow an Understanding Heart

The ability to understand your strengths of the strengths of those around you is not acquired simply by your own efforts. It is imparted by God. “The Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding” (Proverbs 2:6, ESV).

An understanding heart is one means by which God works through His people. It is one He can use to build healthier, more complete relationships in your life and the lives of those around you.

Do you want to have a more understanding heart?

Ask God for one. Cry out as David did: “Give me understanding, that I may keep your law and observe it with my whole heart” (Psalm 119:34, ESV).

When you approach Him in humility and need, God welcomes the chance to fill you with insight … and then use you purposefully.

Growth PointGod values an understanding heart.


Give me understanding, that I may keep your law and observe it with my whole heart. (Psalm 119:34, ESV)

Prayer Points

  • Why does God value an understanding heart, particularly when it comes to His design for differences?
  • Why do you desire to have a more understanding heart?
  • Pray Psalm 119:34.

Strengths of the Heart

Strengths of the Heart, Part 1: A Teachable Heart

Strengths of the Heart, Part 3: An Active Heart

Devotionals about Gratitude

Gratitude is Pro-Active

How to Be Thankful for Differences in Others

Devotionals: The Puzzle of Strengths

The Puzzle of Strengths, Part 1: The Puzzle of Unique Strengths

The Puzzle of Strengths, Part 2: The Puzzle of Interlocking Pieces

The Puzzle of Strengths, Part 3: The Missing Puzzle Piece

Devotionals: Ways the Disciples Used Their Strengths

Part 1: Managing Change – Let’s Go or Let’s Make a Plan

Part 2: Processing Information: That’s Wonderful or Give Me Proof

Part 3: Problem Solving: Fix It Now or One Step at a Time?

Part 4: Facing Risk: Outside the Box or Work the System?