We’ve all heard the expression, “you are what you eat.” Well, one of Solomon’s ‘word to the wise’ statements found in Proverbs 23:7 (KJV) suggest a different but related truth—that we are what we think: “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Unfortunately, this translation fails to give contemporary readers a precise understanding of what “as a man thinketh, so is he” really means.
In short, the Hebrew verb translated “thinketh” in the Authorized Version of Proverbs 23:7 means “estimate” or “calculate.” The clause might more accurately be rendered “as one who calculates with himself, so is he,” or “he is like one who is inwardly calculating.”
Now to find the context of this ‘word to the wise’ statement you must read Proverbs 23:6-8. Essentially Solomon is encouraging his readers to understand the heart of a stingy (miser) person. According to most modern translations, the ninth saying of Solomon instructs seekers of wisdom to avoid greedily eating food served by a stingy man. Craving such a man’s delicacies is dangerous because his generosity is false. With a warm welcome, he says, “Eat and drink,” but his heart is not in it.
In contrast to not dining with a stingy man, this wisdom nugget can also be viewed as a form self-awareness or warning. In other words, you become what you think about. If you are constantly thinking negatively your behavior or attitude will most likely reflect or cast negativity. Look at it from this perspective, your mind is like a garden and your thoughts are like seeds. You will either do one of two things: you can either grow flowers or weeds. The decision is yours!
So, the life lesson points from today’s message is don’t eat with stingy people and make sure your not that stingy person!