What you say flows from what is in your heart. – Luke 6:45
1 My child, never forget the things I have taught you.
Store my commands in your heart.
2 IF you do this, (THEN) you will live many years,
and your life will be satisfying.
3 (IF you) Never let loyalty and kindness leave you! (IF you) Wear them like a necklace, as a reminder.
(IF you) Write them deep within your heart.
4 THEN you will find favor with both God and people,
and you will earn a good reputation.
In the first few verses of Proverbs Chapter 3, Solomon utilizes cause and effect. If you do ____, then _____ will be the result. You’ll notice in bold type, and in ( ), if/then that I’ve added for emphasizing the cause/effect relationships in verse 1-4.
From the opening of chapter 3 we’re reminded – NEVER forget the things I’ve taught you, store them in your heart.
Verse 2 – IF you follow these principles (throughout the Book of Proverbs and the Bible)
THEN you’ll live long and have a satisfying life (you’ll be content, fulfilled)
Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need. – Matthew 6:33
Verse 3 – we see two particular character traits mentioned, loyalty and kindness. A character trait is a distinguishing factor(s) that is specific to an individual.
How do we recognize character traits in people? Their attitudes and beliefs are reflected in their actions.
A loyal person is someone another person/people can count on. They are faithful. As in the example of a husband and wife in marriage, or an employee to an employer, or a friend to a friend.
A kind person is someone who looks out for best interests in another. Like a big sister making sure her little brother crosses the street safely, helping a kid who dropped their books in the hall, or holding a door open for someone.
Verse 3 goes on to say that our attitudes/beliefs are demonstrated by the actions we take. Wear loyalty and kindness like a necklace. An outward sign. Write them deep within your heart. Internalize them. Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think – Romans 12:2
We’ve all heard the saying, actions speak louder than words. Not only do actions speak louder than words, but actions actually speak/reflect our internal attitudes/beliefs. The words, feelings, and thoughts that no one sees or hears. Yet, as hard as we may try to suppress our innermost attitudes/beliefs, our actions are acting like a megaphone announcing the “hidden” internal world of our hearts.
But, IF we follow Solomon’s principle in verse 3, THEN, v.4, we’ll find favor with God, and favor with people, and earn a good reputation. A win-win!!
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