What a statement that is! Never is a looong time, folks. The sage made quite a statement by demanding never-ending loyalty and kindness from us. Why is this so important? It is right there in the text: If you don’t have shifting loyalties and stay kind towards others as you remain faithful to God, you will be favored on earth as you are in heaven. You will earn a good reputation!
Wise people make it a priority to stay loyal and kind. In the Book of James, there is an account of what happens when people’s loyalties shift from God to the world. James makes it clear that kindness walks out of the room when folks lose their loyalty to God:
When you allow your loyalty to shift to the world, you become carnal and envious and start fighting with the people you used to love. Instead of asking God for what you need, you try to take it from others. Loyalty is faithfulness and allegiance to someone, even when it is no longer beneficial or convenient.
Friendship with the world moves us into a place where we fall out of favor with God and others because we have become selfish and self-absorbed. It is the exact opposite of what the proverb promoted.
When you find yourself in this situation, James wrote that we should humble ourselves before God and say no to (resist) the devil. We should draw close to God in prayer and supplication, asking for His forgiveness as we repent with tears for our divided loyalty and our lack of kindness towards others. Finally, James wrote that God would restore and lift us back up on our feet when we humbled ourselves before Him.
As you can see, a wise person is loyal and kind, which results in divine favor everywhere. Likewise, a wise person realizes that they may become tempted to divide their loyalties between God and the world, resulting in great strife and destruction. The wise person realizes repentance and humility are the only ways to return to the Lord.
The good news is that God is more loyal and kind to us than we are towards Him, and He will receive us with open arms. Be wise. Be faithful to God and be kind to all.
Excerpted from The Daily Christian: Wisdom by Iann Schonken.
- Loyalty to God suggests a strong feeling of support or allegiance. A loyal person is someone you can count on. They are reliable and trustworthy in their promises. Have you committed your loyalty to God, or do you find yourself straddling the fence between worldly pleasures and the Lord? What will it take for you to surrender your life to Him fully?
- It is encouraging to see the great benefits of loyalty and kindness. Do you remind yourself to regularly be loyal to God and kind to others? Maybe you can write the two words, loyalty and kindness, on a card to read each day when you get in your car or prepare yourself in front of the bathroom mirror.
- Whenever you are tempted to become envious or jealous of someone else having what you’d like, remind yourself that you can converse with God about it. You don’t have to fuss and fight with others because they are blessed. Make God your treasure. Seek Him first, and He will give you what you need (see Matthew 6:33).