“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.”
Proverbs 3:3-4 (NIV)
“Your password is incorrect.”
For the second time in seven days, I saw this message glaring back at me from my computer screen as I tried to log in to check my email. Since I was certain I was typing in the correct password and knew I had not changed it recently, this message was all-too frustrating. But the really exasperating part was yet to come: the call to my Internet service provider to find a way to get access to my email account.
I’m ashamed to say that after talking with three different people who, for various reasons, weren’t able to resolve my problem, I was livid. Letting anger, selfishness and unforgiveness blur the brilliance of wisdom, I told the final service representative exactly what I thought about their service. The understated version was something along the lines of: “It’s terrible.” If only I had said just that.
When my blood pressure returned to normal and I came to grips with the fact that I would have to abandon the email address I had used for 12 years and start from scratch with a new one, I remembered today’s verse, Proverbs 3:3-4. My heart was saddened because in my moment of rage I had not kept love and faithfulness around my neck nor in my heart. I had replaced those two beautiful gems with three ugly stones: anger, selfishness and unforgiveness.
Adorning ourselves with love and faithfulness brings a good name and favor with God and man. Consider the people you know. Do you associate their name with anger? We all know people who are not pleasant to be around because they spew hate and complain. On the flip side, we all know people who are best known for their kindness or gentleness. What we “wear” defines us, and as witnesses for Jesus, we must be vigilant to clothe ourselves with what characterizes him: love and faithfulness.
How do we do this? First, we should begin each day by praying for love and faithfulness to brim over in us. Because of Jesus, we have been forgiven so much. How can we not aspire to be more like him? Choose a verse on love or faithfulness and meditate on it throughout the day. This is my new resolution after failing so miserably to show love and respect to the tech support representative. Two verses upon which I am going to meditate:
“I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart; I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation; I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness from the great congregation.” Psalm 40:10 (ESV)
“And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.” Colossians 3:14-15 (ESV)
What verses would you choose?