- Chris Crosby
An Ornament of Grace
The charm bracelet I wear holds significant meaning for me. The charms added over the years were given by different people for many occasions. Each one signifies an event, an accomplishment, or reminder of something personal. Each time I wear it, I am reminded of people who love me and mean so much to my life.
Most people have something similar – a bracelet, a necklace, or some gift that is cherished. Just like my bracelet, Proverbs 3:3-4 reminds us to wear something continually and if we do, great blessing will result. “Let not mercy and truth forsake you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart, and so find favor and high esteem in the sight of God and man.”
Let’s look at these words that are so important to ensure we are holding them close and being constantly reminded of them. First, we have mercy – often defined as not getting what we deserve. Jesus is our best example of mercy when He took our punishment on the Cross and in exchange gave us everlasting life. We should have received the punishment, but He bore it in our place. That demonstrates mercy better than other definition or word picture. With Jesus as our model, we also need to offer mercy to those around us.
Secondly, we have truth. The concordance also translates this word as faithfulness, reliability, stability. Truth comes when we align our thinking, our attitudes, and our actions with God’s Word. When that source flows from our lives, we demonstrate stability, reliability, and faithfulness to our dealings with others.
Next, we are to bind them around our neck or write them upon the tablets of our hearts. These phrases are often used in scripture to command a constant reflection. In today’s vernacular, we should read them often, meditate on them, put them on sticky notes where they are often seen, or even memorize them. This only occurs when we are constantly in God’s Word, not just reading a quick devotion in the morning, but studying and dwelling on how to make the words come alive in our lives.
The last part of the passage provides the promise. If we are diligent to demonstrate mercy and truth consistently and constantly, we are promised favor and high esteem with both God and others. We currently see a struggling world. However, if we offer mercy to others as we attempt to understand and show value and worth, the carefully erected guard may start to come down. We could embrace others not because they are like us, but because they are made in the image of our Creator. Then we follow up with faithfulness, reliability, and stability. When people know we are not here today, gone tomorrow, but truly there for the long haul, trust can be established. This becomes the first step in healing of relationships and forging of new friendships.
In addition to finding favor with others, we also please our Heavenly Father. Anytime we walk according to the plans and purposes He ordains for us; we find favor in His sight. Is that the longing of your heart – to find favor in the sight of God?
Over the coming days, let’s spend time reflecting on how we can wear mercy and truth. That is a beautiful ornament to wear that brings praise and glory to our Heavenly Father.