Verse: Proverbs 3:3-4
Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart.
Then you will win favor and a good name
in the sight of God and man.
Can you imagine if you went around for a week with a big sign hanging from your neck that said, "I am a loving and faithful person"? It's the equivalent to those Christian bumper stickers, only it would be on you!
I wonder if it would change anything about how we act? I always feel like those Christian bumper sticker drivers should be held to a higher standard, don't you? I wonder if we'd hold ourselves to a higher standard. I wonder if it would be harder to be short with a co-worker while wearing a sign that says "I am loving." Or if we'd be less likely to cancel plans with a friend wearing the "I'm a faithful person" sign.
What I think is powerful about this little proverb is the instruction to both bind in on your neck and write in on your heart. Love and faithfulness become an internal and an external reality. Internally, our hearts become pointed towards love and faithfulness. Our attitude towards people changes. Even our prayer life changes. On the inside we begin to internalize the word of God, and it changes our heart.
But it also changes our actions, doesn't it? What good are love and faithfulness if they stay on the inside only? The work of the Holy Spirit on the inside produces fruit on the outside. We become people who treat other people with love and faithfulness. Eventually we become known as people of love and faithfulness. If the fruit of the Spirit grows and is evident, then eventually, it becomes pretty much the same as wearing a sign, doesn't it? Love and faithfulness will mark us, and define how we treat others, and the work of the Spirit on the inside, will be easy for all to see. In the end, the hope is, we won't have to wear a sign, because people will read the fruit of our lives loud and clear.
Jesus I pray that you would continue the deep and good work in my life of making me a more loving and faithful person.