Proverbs 3:3

What Are You Wearing Today?

Do not let kindness and truth leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Proverbs 3:3 (NASB)

Do you wear a certain piece of jewelry every day—maybe a wedding band or family heirloom? In Proverbs 3, Solomon advises us to put on two spiritual accessories every day: kindness and truth.

In Hebrew, the word translated “kindness” in the NASB is checed.[1]  It refers to more than friendly behavior or gentle words. Primarily, checed refers to the steadfast, unchanging covenantal love of God for His children. In English Bibles, checed is also translated mercy, loyalty, lovingkindness, goodness, and love.

The second accessory Solomon mentions is truth. The Hebrew word is emeth.[2] It encompasses more than God’s laws; it also includes His promises. Some translations use “faithfulness” for emeth in verse 3 because God’s truth is firm, reliable, and unchanging. We can depend upon it as confidently as we rely on a faithful friend.

Wearing these accessories, says Solomon, has invaluable benefits: “you will find favor and good repute in the sight of God and man” (v. 4). The Message puts it this way: we will “earn a reputation for living well.” And as Proverbs 22:1 reminds us, “a good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed [highly respected] is better than silver or gold” (NIV).

How different my daily perspective would be if each morning when I slipped my wedding ring on my finger, I said these words:  “I’m also putting on the steadfast love of God today. No matter what happens, He loves me. Along with His love, I’m putting on His promises. He’s not going to give me more than I handle, and He’s going to stick with me. With gratitude, I’m going to do my best to live by His principles.”

The wonderful paradox of God’s love and truth is that we can wear them and share them—like a magic double band ring that duplicates itself the minute we remove it from our finger and give it to someone else. And it will never depreciate, no matter how many other people own one.

Let’s make God’s steadfast love and unchanging truth our must-have accessories today and every day

DIG DEEPER:

Read Proverbs 3:21-24, 6:20-22 and 7:1-3. What else should we “fasten around our neck”? What is the value of those adornments?

Read 1 Peter 3:3-4. What connection do you see between Solomon’s counsel in Proverbs 3:1-4 and Peter’s advice about outward adornments and unfading beauty?

Read Proverbs 14:22, 16:6, 20:28. What do these verses reveal about the value of double band ring of kindness (love) and truth (faithfulness)?

Before we’re able to “wear” God’s truth and love, those characteristics must first be written, or engraved in our hearts. How do we do that? Read Proverbs 2:1-5.

Denise K. Loock

[1] “Hebrew Lexicon :: H2617 (KJV).” Blue Letter Bible. Accessed 18 Sep, 2014. http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H2617&t=KJV

[2] “Hebrew Lexicon :: H571 (KJV).” Blue Letter Bible. Accessed 18 Sep, 2014. http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H571&t=KJV

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