Proverbs 19:22, The desire of a man is his kindness: and a poor man is better than a liar.
We are told by this proverb that a man's desire is equal to his kindness.
A man's kindness is revealed by his longing to do for others.
Notice it does not say that a man's kindness is equal or revealed by his deeds or doings.
It simply says that the desire of a man is his kindness.
Desire is an internal act, an act of the heart.
It is an act of the heart which influences the will of the man and moves the man to proceed to action.
But action is not necessarily required to define the man's kindness.
What is important is what takes place in the heart.
For you see the man may not be able to perform that which takes place in the heart.
The man may be incapable of acting out the desires of his heart.
But the desires are there.
Jesus Christ enjoyed watching people.
We are told in the book of Mark that Jesus sat over against the treasury, and watched how the people cast money into the treasury.
He noticed that many that were rich cast in much.
It took a while to cast in the coins of the rich.
It was easy to see their giving because the coins were many and noisy and perhaps shiny.
The rich were easily noticed by their fine garments and Jesus noticed.
But he also noticed that a poor widow came and threw in two mites totaling a farthing.
Not a sum to boast about.
Not a sum that was worthy of notice by anyone but Jesus.
He told his disciples that this poor widow cast in more, than all they which have cast into the treasury:
For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.
You see Jesus Christ knew her heart.
Jesus Christ knew the desire of her heart which was her kindness.
Jesus Christ knew that her desire was to cast in much more than all the rich men who were casting in out of their abundance.
But she only had two mites.
But her desire was to give all that she had but the rich man had no such desire.
His desire was measured by the portion of his riches that he gave but hers was measured by the desire to hold back nothing but to give all.
And her desire defined her kindness, not the two mites that she cast in.
You see God does not look at the amount of the gift given.
He is not impressed by numbers.
Man is impressed by numbers because what ever man makes can be counted but what ever God makes is beyond counting.
You see! A rich man may give an amount that is impressive to man but be totally devoid of love.
The gift may only be given to receive the praise and adoration of men.
Do you think that we have a God that honors that?
No, God always looks on the heart.
You can not impress our God with outward acts that are not in accord with the heart.
Only men are impressed with the outward acts and reward the outward but God desires a heart to be in accord with the outward acts.
Anything else reveals a hypocrite, anything else reveals lukewarm ness and God spews that out of his mouth.
Matthew Henry in his Commentary stated this proverb thusly:
It is far better to have a heart to do good, and want ability for it, than to have ability for it, and want a heart to it.
David had a heart to do good when he desired to built the temple.
God was true to his word when he recognized David's desire as his kindness as we read in:
2 Chronicles 6:8, But the LORD said to David my father, Forasmuch as it was in thine heart to build an house for my name, thou didst well in that it was in thine heart:
God had found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfill all my will.
David was willing to build the temple and God counted it as the kindness of David.
2 Corinthians 8:12 For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.
The heart is the key to kindness and not the act.
The poor man who cannot give but desires in his heart to give is better than the man that professes kindness and gives, but only because of personal gain.
By his act of giving that does not match his heart he proves himself a liar.
The poor man is better than a liar.
It is better to choose poverty than to make gain by feigning kindness and prove yourself a liar. Be true to yourself applies.
This proverb reminds us to examine our self, examine our heart and not to find some cause for self esteem in our acts alone.
I give, therefore I am kind is not the correct conclusion.
What is your heart? For that is what God examines in the matter of kindness.