Love and Faithfulness
There is a text in Proverbs that says, “Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart (Proverbs 3:3, NIV).
Love is such a frequent theme in the sacred writings that we can hardly imagine how the scriptures would exist without it. In fact, love is so fundamental to the way we think about God that a verse in the New Testament says, “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love” (1 John 4:8, NIV).
“Faithfulness” is not as frequently written of as “love,” but it is a great indicator of the true character of God—and the source of our hope in the future: “Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments” (Deuteronomy 7:9 NIV).
What is God’s faithfulness? Faithfulness means that God always does what is right. Always.
Think about the second part of that verse from Proverbs: “bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.”
Evidently people have been wearing their values around their necks for a long time—even back to Bible times. I can visualize one of those Bible characters with a bit of bling around his neck—maybe Job, during his trials, wearing a tasteful gold chain on which hangs a small gold coin that says simply, “Faithful. All the Time.”The tablet that is mentioned is not an iPad; it’s referring to a clay tablet on which something important was written while the clay was still damp—and now it cannot be changed. It’s like a contract or an unbreakable agreement. On the “tablet of the human heart” there should be two words—just two— that stand forever: Love and Faithfulness. “Written on our hearts” means something so important, so fundamental, that we would even let it be tattooed or etched onto our beating hearts.
The text quoted at the beginning bears this message—and it bears repeating: Let loving as God loves you, and always doing what is right, be your ultimate and persistent goal.
How will you show great love this week? What are the situations where you are being asked to do what is right? What values do you wear around your neck? And what is so important to you that you would get it tattooed on your heart?
Words to live by—and ideas that make the difference.