A “How to” from God
Oswald Chambers once said-God is the One Who welds both faith and common sense into one practical personality.
We see that welding as the writer in Proverbs 3:3-7 tells us-
1 My son, don’t forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commands; 2 for they will bring you many days, a full life, and well-being. 3 Never let loyalty and faithfulness leave you. Tie them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. 4 Then you will find favor and high regard in the sight of God and man.
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; 6 think about Him in all your ways, and He will guide you on the right paths. 7 Don’t consider yourself to be wise; fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
In Proverbs 3, we find a basic guideline that can help us live a spiritually fruitful life and part of that guideline includes living a life of truth and kindness.
God’s Word also says this about truth and kindness: "What is desirable in a man is his kindness, and it is better to be a poor man than a liar" (Proverbs 19:22).
Those two aspects do not appear together by coincidence through the Word–God wants us to understand the significance of employing both of those traits at the same time.
Within the body of Christ, there are many people who believe that it is their duty to act as the Holy Spirit, convicting others for the error of their ways. Even if they are right, a spirit of condemnation accompanies their rebukes instead of gentleness and kindness.
When we are not approached in kindness, we have a tendency to build walls and ignore someone’s caution. When we see fellow Christians stumbling, God’s Word encourages us to go and talk to those who have fallen and a spirit of kindness needs to accompany the truth.
When we use truth and kindness together, we are fruitful because God’s Word penetrates the hearts of those with whom we lovingly share–and lives are changed as people see our hearts and know we are pure.
The greatest good is wisdom-Augustine
We saw in Proverbs 3:7 the reminder Don’t consider yourself to be wise; fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
As we desire to live a life fruitful in the Lord, we must remember who we are serving–the God of the universe–and forever fear Him. Many times when we hear the phrase "fear of the Lord", we think of trembling in terror but our loving heavenly Father does not want us to live in fear of what He will do to us; rather, He wants us to honor and respect Him with a healthy fear, a fear that is reverent and obedient.
"I know that everything God does will remain forever; there is nothing to add to it and there is nothing to take from it, for God has so worked that men should fear Him" (Ecclesiastes 3:14).
When we reflect on all that the Lord has done for us, how can we ever be disrespectful to Him by disobeying Him? Regardless of what has happened in our lives, God’s plan of redemption brings us into fellowship with Him, a fellowship that should be founded out of our utmost respect and reverence for God.
As we attempt to live a life fruitful in the Lord, we must remember that we cannot do it alone. We need His help. We need His wisdom. We need His guidance.
One of the best ways we can demonstrate our desire to serve and follow Him is by showing our respect in obeying His commands in every aspect of our lives.
A thought to ponder,