Kindness and Favour (Proverbs 3:3-4)

I know that I am only taking bitesize chunks of Proverbs, but the text is so rich I do not want to miss any of it! I today focus on two more verses from chapter three, focussing on something very important.

Never let loyalty and kindness leave you!

    Tie them around your neck as a reminder.

    Write them deep within your heart.

4 Then you will find favour with both God and people,

    and you will earn a good reputation.

Proverbs 3:3-4 (NLT)

Kindness

Verse three tells us plainly to never allow kindness to leave us. This simply means that we should always be kind to those around us. It sounds so straightforward that Christians should be kind, and yet some things that don’t need to be said, need to be said!

We have all seen or heard of examples of Christians not being kind. When that happens, it harms the witness of not only that individual, but of the church as a whole. “Christians are just a bunch of hypocrites!” they say, and this stems from those who say they are Christian but act like the devil!

Don’t call yourself a #Christian and then act like the devil! #Bible #Christianity #Jesus

Kindness is a fruit of the Spirit (see Galatians 5:22-23) and is something we should all practice. It is not always easy to be kind, especially when we are being badly treated, but it is a powerful act of love.

Kindness need not be costly either, and every one of us has the ability to do it.

Some suggestions might include:

  • Smile, just smile!
  • Pay someone a compliment
  • Be encouraging
  • Help someone in need
  • Give someone a lift
  • Pick up a neighbour’s shopping for them
  • Tip well in a restaurant

There are countless examples I could give, and I am sure you can think of many of your own. If you can make a big enough list, why not write them down on Post-it/sticky notes or slips of paper, put them in a jar and draw one out to do each day.

Make kindness your mission. It will be fun! See how many people you can bless and be kind to, it won’t be long before someone asks you why, and you can tell them about Christ!

The verse instructs us to tie them around our necks, this is a way of remembering. You can certainly wear a sign like a sandwich board to remind you if you wish, but a more convenient method might be to set a reminder on your phone! Whatever works for you!

The more you do this, the more kindness will become a part of you. As verse three concludes, kindness will be written on your very heart. Kindness will become second-nature, it will be an automatic response for you. You will be known for your kind ways.

Why? Why go to all this trouble just to be kind? Because of…

Favour

4 Then you will find favour with both God and people,

    and you will earn a good reputation.

Proverbs 3:4 (NLT)

If you are kind, then you will find favour with both God and man.

Favour is something I pray over my children regularly. When they go to school, I ask the Lord to bless them with favour; with their teachers, with their classmates, with the bus driver… with whomever they meet.

Favour is to be favoured, that is, to receive some form of special treatment in deed or attitude. When I ask for favour for my children with their teachers say, I am asking God to ensure that the teacher is particularly aware of my children’s needs, treats them well and takes special care of them. When I ask for favour for their friendships, I am asking God to ensure they make the right friends, and friends who will benefit them and not pull them away from their faith.

Favour is to have doors of opportunity opened to you to share the Gospel. It is also to find just the right parking spot. One way to describe it might be a nod from God in our direction, in a big or small way, to know that He is with us and preparing the way ahead of us as His own children.

This is not to say that everything in life will be easy and smooth, and that we’ll never hit any problems. That is not realistic. We will face trials and difficulty as long as we walk this Earth, but favour comes from being a child of God. Even if my children face troubles, I will still be there to help them and make it easier if at all possible. God is a better Father than I am.

Kindness breeds favour because it marks us out as people who go a little further to help or assist. When people see us being kind, they remember it, and that may open a door for us in future. There will always be people who try to take advantage of us for being kind, but that should not stop us. While some may abuse our kindness, God’s favour on us will override it.

Favour also means to have a good reputation, as verse four points out. Reputations are hard to earn and easy to lose. Having a good one in our career, church or community is a real blessing and can strengthen our witness in many respects.

Reputations are hard to earn and easy to lose #truth #Christianity #Bible #Wisdom

Be kind. Gain favour. And build a good reputation.

Dear Lord,

We thank You that You are the perfect example of kindness. Help us to follow Your lead and be kind to all that we meet. Please give us creative ideas of how we can show love and be generous to the people in our lives.

We ask for Your favour today and every day. May we have favour with our families, friends, employers, teachers and all those we interact with. Let Your favour go before us, preparing the way, and please open doors for us to share Your truth with those who need it.

May You help us to build a good reputation that we might have a powerful witness, and that those who see us will want to know more about You and Your ways.

Let our goal not be to gain favour with men, but to please You in all we do. In Jesus’ mighty Name!

Amen!

Catch someone (PoW )

Pearls of Wisdom

Delight in catching someone doing something right

Whether it be a celebrity, a politician, or some other high-profile person, there is often a lot of social media activity trying to catch those doing something wrong. The newspapers post photographers outside of nightclubs and parties trying to catch people in a compromising situation.

For some reason, we often delight in seeing others fail or embarrassing themselves. Perhaps in some way it makes us feel better about ourselves if we know the others trip over sometimes.

Today though, instead of trying to catch someone else out, why not try to catch them doing something good?

There are people doing good all around us all of the time. It only takes a moment to mark that. We have seen many examples of this in the recent period of lockdown. People thanking key workers or medical staff with little acts of random kindness.

Just last night, a friend of mine described how he bought a case of beers which he then left outside for those collecting the bins from his house. Now you might choose to show gratitude in a very different way of course, but the point is made. 

If you see someone doing something good, take a moment to tell them. Thank them. If you are able to give them a little gift or encouragement, then it is a great use of resources.

Instead of trying to catch people out, let’s all try to delight in catching someone doing good!

I think you will find the reward far outweighs the effort it takes.  God bless. 

Love is a Verb (PoW#16)

Pearl of Wisdom #16

Love is a verb

You have no doubt heard this phrase before, but I think it is worth repeating.

A verb is an action word – it describes something we do. Love should be visible.

It is easy to say the words – “I love you,” but do our actions tell the same story? I can wish you well, hope that things work out OK for you, but if I do nothing to help, then I’ve not really loved you at all.

Being part of a church, I often hear of people praying for one another. If you believe in the power of prayer, then that’s a wonderful thing to do. Sometimes though I fear we are praying to God about things we could take care of ourselves.

If someone is without transport, we don’t need to pray for them, we need to give them a lift. If someone has a sick child or relative, we can provide a meal to give them one less thing to worry about. While doing our own shopping, we can pick up a few things for an elderly neighbour.

Love demands action – what is it demanding of you this week?