What Does Proverbs 27:19 Mean?

As in water face reflects face, So the heart of man reflects man.

Proverbs 27:19(NASB)

Verse Thoughts

Just as gazing into the mirror-like qualities of a still water-pool reflect the detailed features of a man's face, so the standards and qualities residing deep within a heart reflect a man's character and display the innermost calibre of his soul. Just as we are enabled to study the physical characteristics of our facial features through the mirror-image, reflected in a clear standing-pool of water, so an examination of the inner thoughts of the heart gives a reliable indication of our spiritual standing - or perhaps uncovers a hypocritical facade.

The literal translation of this verse reads: 'like water face to face, so is the heart of man to a man.' Too often we are quick to identify the qualities, or criticise the defects, we see reflected in the life of a fellow believer, but often we are not as swift to identify areas in our own hearts that need to be critically analysed; spiritually evaluated; offered-up to the Lord and purged of anything that is unholy or detrimental to our spiritual growth.

God alone knows a man's heart and can read the secret thoughts in the inner depths of his soul, but it is the outworking of those concealed attributes, which are demonstrated through words, actions and attitudes that manifests a man's true identity to his fellow-man.

Reverence and respect towards our heavenly Father; a Christlike love towards others and inner peace, is often identified through the godly works, pure thoughts and sound speech that flows through our daily life. It is the inner heart that identifies a life that is walking in spirit and truth. It is careless speech, a critical attitude, thoughtless behaviour and an unrighteous lifestyle that warns us that we have fallen from grace and strayed from the path of peace. Corrupt hearts breed corruption, while a sanctified heart exhibits Christ-likeness.

Man's countenance is frequently an index of his thoughts, and the fruit of his attitude of mind is often displayed in his words, his ways, his will, and his walk. As a man thinks so is he, and whatever becomes the central focus of that man's mind, influences his attitude of heart and is displayed in the out-working of his life... "As water face reflects the face, so the heart of man reflects that man's character".

Ambitions and emotions; temptations and trials; hope and fear; inner thoughts and expectations together with spiritual strengths and weaknesses can all be reflected in the face and mirrored in the expression of the eyes. It is often as we openly gaze into the reflection of our own face, through the mirror of God's word, that we can identify areas that need spiritual adjustment and God's forgiveness. 

How important to examine our own heart and scrutinise our inner thoughts, through the mirror-like qualities of a still water-pool and to reflect whatever is good and pure and wholesome and holy.

The Word of God is the truthful mirror into which we should look carefully. The Bible is the still, water-poon in which to gaze day by day - for the face of Christ is the reflection upon which our hearts should rest.

May we preach this truth to our own hearts and be doers of the word as well as hearers of God's truth. May we all... with unveiled faces,  gaze at the glory of the Lord... as beholding HIM in the mirror, so that we may be transformed into His glorious image, from glory to glory - through the power of the indwelling Spirit of the Lord  - as we die to self and live for Him.

My Prayer

Blessed Lord and Father, what wonderful truths are contained within Your Word. I pray that I may learn to keep the eyes of my heart fixed upon Christ and to daily search the scriptures more faithfully, so that I may learn more of You and increasingly reflect the Lord Jesus, in all I say and do. I pray that my life may be a mirror-image of Him... that I may only say the things that He has taught me and only do those things that honour Him... so that His grace and love and care and beauty may be seen in me and flow out to others, in Jesus name I pray, AMEN.

Choose a Verse from Proverbs 27

  • 123456789101112131415161718192021222324252627