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Proverbs 14:10 & meaning...


heart knows its own bitterness and joy; he will not share these with a stranger.

Proverbs 14:10


The wisdom of the prudent is to think about his way,

    but the folly of fools is deceit.

Fools mock at making atonement for sins,

    but among the upright there is good will.

Proverbs 14 [10.] The heart knows its own bitterness and joy;

    he will not share these with a stranger.

The house of the wicked will be overthrown,

    but the tent of the upright will flourish.

There is a way which seems right to a man,

    but in the end it leads to death.

Even in laughter the heart may be sorrowful,

    and mirth may end in heaviness.

The unfaithful will be repaid for his own ways;

    likewise a good man will be rewarded for his ways.


Here, the heart symbolizes the innermost core of our being, encompassing our emotions, thoughts, and desires. It is the seat of our identity and the source of our deepest feelings. When the verse speaks of the heart knowing its own bitterness and joy, it acknowledges the intimate connection between our emotions and our inner selves. We each carry within us a unique blend of joy and sorrow, shaped by our individual experiences, perspectives, and circumstances. Our hearts bear the weight of our struggles and the lightness of our triumphs, encapsulating the breadth of the human experience.

The bitterness mentioned in the verse encompasses the pain, sorrow, and hardship that we inevitably encounter in life. It may stem from various sources such as loss, disappointment, betrayal, or failure. These bitter experiences leave an indelible mark on our hearts, shaping our outlook on the world and influencing our interactions with others. Yet, amidst the bitterness, there is also joy—the profound sense of fulfillment, contentment, and happiness that arises from moments of triumph, love, and connection. Both bitterness and joy are integral parts of the human condition, weaving together to form the tapestry of our lives.

What makes this verse particularly poignant is its recognition of the solitary nature of our inner experiences. Despite our capacity for empathy and understanding, there are aspects of our emotions that remain deeply personal and unshared. The verse highlights the reluctance to disclose one's innermost feelings to a stranger, underscoring the importance of trust and intimacy in human relationships. While we may open up to those closest to us, there are depths of our hearts that only we can fully comprehend. This inherent privacy of our emotions speaks to the sanctity of the individual soul and the sacredness of personal experience.

In reflecting on Proverbs 14:10, we are prompted to explore the depths of our own hearts and emotions. We are invited to engage in introspection, to delve beneath the surface of our outward expressions and confront the complexities of our inner selves. Through this process, we come to understand ourselves more fully, embracing both the joys and sorrows that define us. We learn to cultivate compassion and empathy for ourselves and others, recognizing that each person carries within them a universe of emotions waiting to be explored.

Cross-referencing this verse with others in the Bible deepens our understanding of its message. In Psalm 139:23-24, David prays, "Search me, God, and know my heart. Try me, and know my thoughts. See if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way." Here, David acknowledges God's omniscience and invites Him to examine his innermost being. Similarly, Proverbs 4:23 advises, "Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it is the wellspring of life." This verse urges us to guard our hearts, recognizing their central role in shaping our lives and relationships.

In conclusion, Proverbs 14:10 offers us a profound meditation on the nature of the human heart and the depth of our emotional experiences. It reminds us of the inherent complexity and privacy of our innermost feelings, urging us to embrace both the bitterness and joy that define us. Through introspection, empathy, and trust, we navigate the labyrinth of our emotions, seeking to understand ourselves and others more deeply. And in this journey of self-discovery, we find solace in the knowledge that our hearts are known and cherished by the One who created them.

PIB Scriptures are derived from the World English Bible


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