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.
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
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.
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.