Summary: How faithfulness brings favor.
[Part 2 of 5 in the series, "THE SEARCH, Solomon’s Secrets to a Happy & Successful Life"]
We’re in the series, “THE SEARCH, Solomon’s Secrets to a Happy & Successful Life.”
Our text for this series is Proverbs 2:2-4 (NLT) - "Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding. Cry out for insight, and ask for understanding. Search for them as you would for silver; seek them like hidden treasures."
Circle the three words, “wisdom,” “understanding” and “insight.” In order to live a happy and successful life – the life God desires for us – we need His wisdom, understanding and insight.
Last week we talked about how using God’s wisdom helps us talk right and thus live better. This week we’ll see how gaining God’s wisdom, understanding and insight Jumpstarts Our Breakthroughs in Life.
When you have an obstacle in your way and there’s some sort of stalemate, when you can’t seem to get ahead and you keep spinning your wheels – you need a breakthrough.
Perhaps you need a breakthrough in your finances, or in your relationships, on your job, or over some habit or addiction you’re battling. Maybe you need a breakthrough on determining God’s will for your life, short-term or even long-term. Is there anything we can do to jumpstart the process? The good news is – Yes! There is!
3 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. Proverbs 3:3-4 (NIV)
Go ahead and circle the three key words we’re going to be talking about today: love, faithfulness and favor.
A BRIEF DEFINITION AND DESCRIPTION OF KEY TERMS
Love: The Hebrew word denotes loving kindness. The KJV translates the word, “mercy.” We should never stop living a life of love toward God, and love, kindness and mercy toward others. The Bible says that we need to wear this attitude of love like jewelry around our neck and inscribe in on the notebook of our hearts. Breakthroughs are much more abundant when our life is characterized by love.
Faithfulness: The Hebrew word used in our Scripture text that is translated “faithfulness” indicates the character quality of being consistent for the long haul. The idea of faithfulness has to do with adhering to the same principles all the time, not vacillating back and forth depending upon the situation, bur doing things consistently for a long time and not just for the short run. Faithfulness is when you live by the same ideals and values and actions like a marathoner and not just like a sprinter.
The King James Version renders the Hebrew word “faithfulness” as “truth,” because the idea of the word denotes someone who is tried and true, trustworthy, someone you can count on because of their track record; someone who exhibits integrity. You know they’re going to show up. They’re not hit and miss. They don’t show up for work one day and skip the next for no good reason. They don’t neglect family or financial responsibilities. You don’t have to wonder if they’ll be “there” when they’re supposed to be “there,” or when they say they’ll be “there.” You can count on them.
Don’t we all love people like that? These are my favorite kind of people. Faithfulness is more valuable than skill, intellect, or income. Study what Christ said about faithfulness sometime. Jesus didn’t say, “Well done thou good and” skillful servant, or rich servant, or smart servant, but “faithful servant.”
Faithfulness is an attractive quality in people. The Bible says Loyalty makes a person attractive. Proverbs 19:22a (NLT) "People do a lot of things to make themselves more attractive but the Bible, God’s wisdom and insight says that loyalty, or faithfulness, makes a person attractive."
And just like loyalty, or faithfulness, makes us attractive, unfaithfulness makes us irritating.
"Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble [is like] a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint." Proverbs 25:19 (KJV)
Circle that word “unfaithful.” Solomon paints two word pictures of unfaithfulness. When we’re undependable and unloving we’re like a toothache. Then the Bible says an unfaithful person is like a foot out of joint. You can’t walk on it so you don’t get anywhere. When we’re unfaithful we hinder progress – our own progress - and the progress of God’s work and the progress of others who have the misfortune of being associated with us.
That’s the antithesis of what will help us jumpstart our breakthrough. Unfaithfulness will not help you get ahead with God, with your boss, with your co-workers, with your family, with your friends, with your customers, nor in the fellowship of the church.
A comedic movie is coming out later this year entitled, “How to Lose Friends and Alienate People.” The Bible tells us right here how we lose friends and alienate people – by behaving unfaithfully.