13 A happy heart makes the face cheerful,
but heartache crushes the spirit.
14 The discerning heart seeks knowledge,
but the mouth of a fool feeds on folly.
It is the inward condition of the heart, rather than outward circumstances, which determine our well-being. This is a great encouragement, as we have more control over what we allow into our hearts than we do of what happens to us. But it is also a great responsibility. We all have opportunities for heartache, regret and self pity – but we need not let them crush us. Sorrow also opens the door to the comfort of others and the healing of confession and forgiveness, which allow for the return of joy.
“The discerning heart seeks knowledge, but the mouth of a fool feeds on folly.” What do you allow into your heart when life is going well? The wise store up knowledge and deepen relationships, so that when the storm comes their foundations are firm. But the foolish pass the time in amusement and folly, and are easily brought to despair.