Sunday, October 13, 2013

A Legacy of Loyalty and Kindness

Proverbs 3:3-4
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.

When the question is posed, “Why do you hold back in telling others about Jesus?”, it’s common to hear people say that they are afraid that they will be watched too closely, others will see their mistakes, and call them a hypocrite.  It is a huge responsibility to set an example with our lives when we proclaim to follow Christ.  People do watch, and they do notice when we make mistakes, but the beautiful thing is that they also notice when we admit our mistakes, apologize, and ask for forgiveness. 

DC Talk had a very popular song with Jesus Freak.  It says, “What will people say when they hear that I’m a Jesus freak? What will people do when they find out it’s true? I don’t really care if they label me a Jesus freak, there ain’t no disguising the truth.”  If we live our lives honoring God, people are going to notice that we are different, and there won’t be any way to disguise it.  Proverbs 3:3-4 mentions two traits that God says will help us find favor and help us earn a good reputation not only with people, but with Him.  Those two traits are loyalty and kindness.  It says never let these things leave us.  We should remind ourselves about being this way, and have them carved or written deep in our heart.  That’s where we show love. 

Loyalty is important.  It’s absolutely necessary in a successful marriage, it is an integral piece to the puzzle of friendship, and it’s expected within a family.  Businesses have discovered the importance of it.  My wallet is filled with loyalty cards that reward me with discounts and free products when I spend my money with them.   

Being kind to others is a key component to our witness to the world.  God says that the best thing we can do to show Him to others is to love them.  The dictionary defines kind as sympathetic, helpful, and gentle.  Listening to others, helping them, and treating them gently will exhibit the love of God to people.

When I choose to be loyal to someone, it means I am not wavering in my devotion to that relationship.  That level of devotion is built over time in friendships, while it is immediate in some relationships.  When you see the face of your child for the first time, there is a deep level of loyalty that is instinctive.   My first thought when someone hurts me or someone I love, is not one of kindness.

I have recently had a situation where someone I am loyal to has had a difficult time with another individual treating them unfairly.  My actions, responses, and words were not always kind.  When I was around other people that began speaking about the same situation, I joined in on the bashing.  I know that I tarnished my good reputation as a Christ follower to those people.  That could be enough to make me just quit talking about Jesus because people might see me as a hypocrite.

Eventually, I did the mature thing about the situation, and after a lot of prayer and some advice from some of my most loyal friends, a discussion took place, and we all feel better about it now.  All I can do is renew my effort to show kindness in every situation and really pray about the importance of being loyal and kind to people, ask for forgiveness and start anew.

I am grateful for the mercy and patience that God shows me in my relationship with Him, and I want to show more grace and mercy to the people He has placed in my life.  God is still working on me, but there ain’t no disguising the truth, I am a Jesus freak.  I hope I can grow and leave a legacy of loyalty and kindness.  Thanks for hanging in there with me.

Passages to Ponder:

Proverbs 11:17- Your kindness will reward you, but your cruelty will destroy you.

Romans 2:4- Don't you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you?  Does this mean nothing to you?  Can't you see that His kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?

Proverbs 22:1- Choose a good reputation over great riches; being held in high esteem is better than gold or silver.

Kim McClure

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