Day 17 | 21-Day Growth Challenge | "Tests for Purity of Heart"

Wednesday, September 15, 2010 Bryan Hudson 10 Comments


Proverbs 17:3 Fire tests the purity of silver and gold, but the Lord tests the heart.
God is always concerned with foundational principles. Purity has to do with our hearts and purposes not being mingled with ungodly influences. Everything gets tested and proven. The Apostle Paul addressed this issue of foundational purity in 1 Corinthians 3:12 "Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward."

This Scripture may refer to a time when we stand before the Lord in judgment of our works as believers. However, I would like to believe that we're being tested and purified in this season as well. I don't want to wait until the end to find out if my works were worthy of Christ.

Proverbs 17:5 Those who mock the poor insult their Maker; those who rejoice at the misfortune of others will be punished.
This is another reference in Proverbs about the importance of how we relate to the poor. God loves the poor and he is concerned about their welfare and future success. I am sometimes concerned that our society, as well as the Church, becomes so obsessed with the "lifestyles of the rich and famous" that we "tune out" the poor. Someone once said that a society can be judged by how it treats its children and its poor citizens.

Proverbs 17:16 It is senseless to pay tuition to educate a fool, since he has no heart for learning. 
This seems to be a questionable translation of the text in the New Living Translation (which sometimes reads more like a paraphrase than a Bible translation). However, it presents an interesting perspective. The new King James version of verse 16 reads, "Why is there in the hand of a fool the purchase price of wisdom, Since he has no heart for it?."

The idea of this text seems to indicate that investing resources to provide education or wisdom to persons who have no desire for it is a waste of money. As we have learned through this study in the book of Proverbs, people must choose to listen to God and to value what He has to say.  Jesus said it another way in Matthew 7:6, “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces."

These seem like harsh words, yet they are based on proven principles.

Proverbs 17:22 A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.
Success and prosperity benefit from maintaining a cheerful attitude. If we do not have joy in serving the Lord, there will not be much motivation to serve faithfully. A broken spirit helps nothing. Discouragement and  disappointment will bring us low if we do not cast our cares on the Lord.

Proverbs 17:24 Sensible people keep their eyes glued on wisdom, but a fool’s eyes wander to the ends of the earth.
In a world full of distractions and foolishness, it is more important than ever to keep our eyes "glued" on the wisdom of God.

Proverbs 17:27 A truly wise person uses few words; a person with understanding is even-tempered.
When wisdom is operating in our lives, we don't need to attempt to adjust our perception in the sight of others with our words. Sometimes talking too much is evidence of something lacking in one's heart.  God's wisdom and understanding helps us become settled and steady day after day.


"Lord, help me maintain a pure heart towards You and all people, especially towards the poor. I'll keep my eyes glued on your wisdom. In Jesus' Name. Amen!"

(Use comment section below to share your insights. Record sensitive items in your personal journal. You can login or simply use your first name.)
  1. How does God test our purity of heart?
  2. Comment on one of the verses in Proverbs Chapter 16?
  3. What actions will you take today related to this lesson?

Click on "Comments" to read others and add yours afterwards.


  1. 1. How does God test our purity of heart?
    He looks at how we handle situations that come into our lives.

    2. Comment on one of the verses in Proverbs Chapter 16?
    verse 20. It is easy sometimes because of pride to think you do not need to ask for help. Often when you wait to ask for help you have a much worse mess to clean up.

    3. What actions will you take today related to this lesson?
    I work keeping eyes fixed on the right things and seeking wisdom.

  2. 1.) God judges our heart, our intentions and our actions during every circumstance to measure our "purity level" or maturity.

    2.) "The wise say very little, and those with understanding stay calm. Even fools seem to be wise if they keep quiet; if they don't speak, they appear to understand" Prov. 17: 27&28 NCV

    When we stop talking and listen we are exhibiting wise behavior. When we listen with an intent to comprehend and act upon what we have heard, we are showing a characteristic of the wise. Listening leads to understanding and ultimately, action should follow.

    3.) I will remember the importance of being quiet before the Lord and being submissive and open to him. I will remember that I am to listen first!

  3. 1. One way God tests our purity of heart is to reveal if we are performing a certain action to be a blessing or simply for personal gain. For instance, Navy JROTC cadets are required to do 10 hours of community service per semester. Upon completion of this requirement, they receive a 100% for their community service grade, and receive a community service ribbon, which is worn on their uniform. If a cadet abruptly stops participating in our community service events once they have reached 10 hours, I know that their sole purpose for doing community service was personal gain. However, those whom continue giving back to the community after they obtain their 10 hours have a heart for the people.

    2. Proverbs 17:27 A truly wise person uses few words; a person with understanding is even-tempered.

    This scripture gives good insight as it informs us that wisdom will ensure that we do not talk more than we ought. Those who talk too much will find that they often say something that they wish could be taken back because their life has been made difficult due to a loose tongue. Additionally, this scripture also informs us that a person of understanding is slow to anger, which is a characteristic lacking in the murderer, whose rash actions have ruined two lives, their victims and their own.

    3. I will continue to be vigilant in ensuring that I guard my tongue and not act rashly.

  4. 1.God already knows what's in our hearts. He knows whether it is of silver, gold, wood, stubble or hay. When those things are tested by fire and burn, only what's pure and right before God will stand.
    3.I will continue to examine the reasons for what I do. I will meditate on God's word to keep a pure heart.

  5. 1)God tests our hearts by how we love one another and obey his word.

    2)Proverbs 17:24 "Sensible people keep their eyes glued on wisdom but fool's eyes wander to the end of the earth." In the life there are distractions everywhere. Business itself is a distraction but if we are truly wise we place a priority on seeking God.

  6. 1. How does God test our purity of heart?
    God test our purity of heart by allowing us to witness how we respond to circumstances and situations that are abrupt and sometimes difficult to understand. When things out of our control suddenly happen in our lives, we respond in many ways. God allows me to see the real me in my response to the situation. He already knows what is in my heart, but it is for my good, that I know my heart.
    2. Proverbs 17:24 Sensible people keep their eyes glued on wisdom, but a fool’s eyes wander to the ends of the earth.
    An encouragement to those who desire wisdom to monitor our sensory perceptions. Our senses respond to the physical and natural things around us. Therefore we should not only guard what we look upon, but also what we listen to.
    3. Thank God for his grace that continues to help me understand areas of weakness and strength. Thank God that He speaks to my life through His Word and today He is speaking through this daily devotional. I will reflect on wisdom for a pure heart before God and others.

  7. 1. I believe God test the purity of our hearts through the trials we face as well as the blessings, our responds to the storms and the mountaintop experiences should find loving the Lord and rejoicing in His goodness.

    2. Verse 27. "A man of knowledge uses words with restraint and a man of understanding is even tempered". I pray that I get there.

    3. I pray for a pure heart and a desire to serve God by helping the poor

  8. 1. God tests our purity of heart in revealing to us and dealing with us about who we are, what we think, what we say, and what actions we take in the routine and the unusual events of life. Our heart motives are tested in all types of situations and circumstances regarding relationship with Him and people, words and behavior, sickness and good health, success and failure, lack and prosperity, and in many other ways.
    2. My comments on one of the verses in Proverbs Chapter 17 (verse 1-A dry crust eaten in peace is better than a great feast with strife.) This verse expresses the great value is being able to experience peace in personal relationships, even to the extent of having only leftovers to share instead of being able to afford a great feast in an atmosphere of fighting and quarreling. Material things mean little to nothing if there is no peace to be enjoyed in fellowship with family and friends. Having the peace of God, and as much as we are able, maintaining peace with people is what the Lord would have for us to experience and to share with others.
    3. The action I will take today is to listen and act to correct what the spirit of God is revealing as He tests the purity of my heart.

  9. 1. How does God test our purity of heart? I believe our purity of heart is tested most when we are asked to do something that takes us out of our comfort zone, something that will stretch us a bit.
    2.Comment on other verses in chpt.16. verse ll --A just weight and balance are the Lords; all the weights of the bag are his work. often troubled times comes - be it 'the death of a young beautiful child', or someone we know to be a kind loving person who dies tragically at the hands of another who is cold and uncaring. Society many times as 'what is the justification in God allowing this to happen?' We may not understand, but the weights and balances are God's to work out.
    3. Action taken: pray, ask God to keep me in touch with my reason for doing any charitable task, if its strictly for self open my eyes that I may see, and change my path.

  10. 1.How does God test our purity of heart?
    By our willingness to reach out to help, assist and encourage people that are poor, fatherless, widows and those that are incarcerated. These are the people that are less than desirable to some of us, they may lack faith in God so they are not unable to reap the benifits of God's blessings. So we must help those that are in need, by any means necessary (whatever resources that are available to use). We need the heart of God to help His people. God searches out, and knows the heart of His people that are willing and able serve.

    2.Comment on one of the verses in Proverbs Chapter 16?
    Verse 27: A truly wise person uses few words; a person with understanding is even-tempered.
    People with wisdom tend to listen and let others do the talking. They are governed by actions related to their wisdon, knowledge and understanding of the basic principles of life.

    3.What actions will you take today related to this lesson?
    God wants use to have a pure heart and a clean spirit as we go through this life that He has destined for us. HIs purpose for us can only be fulfilled as we are spirit filled and motivated by a pure heart.