Focal passage: Proverbs 3:21-35
I know I’m the only person in all of humanity to have experienced this, but just a half-second after walking away from the end of a conversation, I knew I had really messed up.
What really stung was knowing that my words and my actions had failed to testify to the compassion I had encountered in Christ.
Proverbs reminds us that the wisdom of God, perfectly manifested in Jesus, bears heavily on how we are to treat others. We are to do good to others and not withhold it from them. We are to treat neighbors with respect and compassion and not do them harm. We are to speak truthfully and bear witness to the truth. These seemingly obvious exhortations remind us of the character that marks Jesus’ followers. It is the character God Himself forms in us as His children who are being sanctified. It is evidence of our belonging to His family!
The reward for showing kindness and compassion to others is sweet rest from fear. Those who seek another way must lie down as their fears quickly catch up to them. Their toils are never over. Yet the Lord’s beloved enjoy pleasant sleep. That is, despite whatever circumstances surround them, they find themselves secure in the Father’s embrace.
We need not envy the apparent success of the wicked, for the Lord’s blessing is for the righteous. We experience this blessing most clearly at the cross, where the only righteous one suffered our punishment and in return shares His inheritance with us.