This is on the cover of my newest book. I don’t know if it is a “forget-me-knot” or a “Do knot”…
Once again, I must start with a lot of scripture; but with good reason.
Let’s go to chapter 3 of Proverbs, verses 1-35, a writing filled with things we should do and many “do nots”; (All emphasis is mine).
“My son, (do not) forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart,
2 for they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity.
3 (Do)Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.
4 Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.
5 (Do)Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
7 (Do not) be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil.
8 This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.
9 (Do)Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops;
10 then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.
11 My son, (do not) despise the Lord’s discipline, and (do not) resent his rebuke,
12 because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.
13 Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding,
14 for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold.
15 She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her.
16 Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor.
17 Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace.
18 She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her; those who hold her fast will be blessed.
19 By wisdom the Lord laid the earth’s foundations, by understanding he set the heavens in place;
20 by his knowledge the watery depths were divided, and the clouds let drop the dew.
21 My son, (do not) let wisdom and understanding out of your sight, preserve sound judgment and discretion;
22 they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck.
23 Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble.
24 When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.
25 Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked,
26 for the Lord will be at your side and will keep your foot from being snared.
27 (Do not) withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act.
28 (Do not) say to your neighbor “Come back tomorrow and I’ll give it to you”—
when you already have it with you.
29 (Do not) plot harm against your neighbor, who lives trustfully near you.
30 (Do not) accuse anyone for no reason— when they have done you no harm.
31 (Do not) envy the violent or choose any of their ways.
32 For the Lord detests the perverse but takes the upright into his confidence.
33 The Lord’s curse is on the house of the wicked, but he blesses the home of the righteous.
34 He mocks proud mockers but shows favor to the humble and oppressed.
35 The wise inherit honor, but fools get only shame.”
Solomon starts off with a very “matter of fact” statement – “My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity.” Those are a couple of good blessings right? Who doesn’t want long life and prosperity?
Then he gives some very specific details of some principles that we should live by in order to have long life, prosperity, and peace:
Principle #1. “Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. (What is the Result? – favour; a good name in the sight of God and man.)
Once again, in order to truly understand what we are reading, we have to define some words like; Love and Faithfulness. As a pastor and a Christian I have to tell you that there is only one true definition of love. It is found in 1 Corinthians chapter 13. I am sure you have heard this scripture many times, especially at weddings. However, this defines not only the love between a husband and wife, but also the kind of love we ought to have and show toward one another. And, may I say, even toward God himself. Look at it, and put your name before all the things that are listed about love – For instance, Pastor Fred is patient; Pastor Fred is kind; and so on. How do you measure up? How do you measure up with your spouse? How about with your fellow man? How about with God? Forget about love being that warm, fuzzy, feeling…these are what true love is all about! This scripture not only defines what love is but also what love is not – or does not do;
“Love is patient”;
“Love is Kind”;
“Love does not envy”;
“Love does not boast”;
“Love is not proud”;
“Love does not dishonor others”;
“Love is not self-seeking”;
“Love is not easily angered”;
“Love keeps no record of wrongs”;
“Love does not delight in evil”;
“Love rejoices with the truth”;
“Love always protects”;
“Love always trusts”;
“Love always hopes”;
“Love always perseveres”;
“Love never fails”. (1st. Corinthians 13:4-8)
Did you put your name in place of the word love? How did you measure up? If you are like me, we are not as wise as we thought, and we need more learning!
What about Faithfulness? Well, it is defined as “allegiance; loyalty; a strong sense of responsibility; reliable.” Once again, we can apply these things to a marriage; to our relationship with God; as well as to one another. What kind of person are you? Are you loving? Are you faithful? Do you find favor with God and man…or is your life a constant case of chaos and unhappiness and trying to be someone you are not? I’m just sayin…
Next week – Principle #2 See you then!