My child, never forget the things I have taught you. Store my commands in your heart. If you do this, you will live many years, and your life will be satisfying. Never let loyalty and kindness leave you! Tie them around your neck as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart. Then you will find favor with both God and people, and you will earn a good reputation.
Proverbs 3:1-4 NLT
I want to have favor with God and people—how do I do that?
Solomon seems to tell me that if I remember and practice God’s commands and keep loyalty and kindness a daily practice, I will find this favor. How important are loyalty and kindness?
Loyalty is the ability to keep a confidence and give support to a friend when they need a hand. In this culture, it doesn’t appear that many people can keep what they know to themselves. They like to let others in on their secret. People who talk about other people will soon find themselves without any friends.
People who have your back in the good times and bad times are the people you stick with in life. Those are the people you fight for.
What about kindness? It is not hard to be kind; you just have to think of others better than yourself. People with pride can’t be kind because they are always thinking of themselves first. Maybe that is part of why God hates pride—it blots our ability to be kind to others.
I believe that kindness is a lifestyle, not an act. Too often, we trade an act of kindness for a lifestyle of kindness. We volunteer to serve lunch or give a financial gift to help a needy person, and we think we have accomplished the act of being kind. That seems to mentally free us from being kind when we drive down the freeway, or when we are in the store, or to the waitstaff serving us.
Kindness is a lifestyle, not an act. Anyone can act kindly for a few moments. But the kindness that draws favor from God and people is kindness that is a lifestyle lived out in the little things of life.
Holy Spirit, please help me to be a person who is loyal and kind. Show me any areas of my heart that need correction. Help me to allow You to cleanse and correct my heart.
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