The second of five couplets in Proverbs 3 is verses 3 & 4. Both verses describe a blessing from God: if you live a life of love and faithfulness, you’ll be highly regarded by God and other people.
Let’s look at them in detail. Verse 3: Love and faithfulness are two attributes of God and are used when He talks about his covenant with his people. The words are also two-thirds of the most important character traits in the whole world listed in 1 Cor. 13.13. We also know that love is the core of our spiritual lives: Love the Lord your God, and love your neighbor as yourself. Hang them around your neck like precious jewelry and write them on your heart, meaning that you internalize them to the extent that they become part of your personality and the way you live. They become the habit of your life.
And if you manage to figure out how to do that, you’ll be highly regarded by God and other people. “Love” and “faithfulness” captures the essence of relationships. If everything I do is motivated by love (1 Cor. 13.1-3, 13), and if I am faithful with my love, then my relationships will be meaningful and fulfilling.
OK, so instead of just treating it like a good teaching, how many of you can raise your hands high and say, “Yep, that’s me. That’s how anyone I know would describe me.”? Read Eph. 4.31-32, Eph. 5.1-20; Rom. 12.9-21, and so many other passages. If you want to grow in your faith, you can’t just gloss over stuff like this.
So if you want to push deeper in your faith, you have to understand the process of creating new character traits.
1. Submit your will to God’s will. All that matters is God’s will and God’s kingdom
2. Deny yourself, not just to be a martyr, but with the intention of following Christ
3. Take every thought captive
4. Meditate on verses about love and faithfulness
5. Be transformed by the renewing of your mind
6. Ask the Holy Spirit to do his work in you.
7. Practice acts of love and faithfulness
What, did you expect this to be easy? Since when is anything about godliness easy? Nothing worthwhile is easy. That’s why Prov. 1.2 used the word “attain,” and why it takes a lifetime to be conformed to the image of His Son.