Sometimes I get so caught up in what’s going on around me that I lose sight of a kingdom focus.
The grass needs to be cut. Laundry needs to be washed and folded. Supplies and planning for a next school year are on my mind. I need to get the oil changed in the car … plan a menu for the week … go by the store. Pay this bill … plan that outing … put out that fire …
When I read through Proverbs, I try to fit the teachings into what’s around me, but the lessons lift my gaze to a kingdom where the things that are valued can be possessed, but not touched.
A kindhearted woman gains honor,
but ruthless men gain only wealth. (Proverbs 11:16, NIV)
Honor straddles two realms. It is gain. But it can’t be measured or held. Wealth is also a type of gain that can be hoarded and held, but not taken past the grave.
When I read through Proverbs, honesty, generosity, honor, diligence, prudence, righteousness, and more are the sweet and juicy fruits and gains of a heart’s focus, a person’s choices and actions. These traits show true prosperity.
One person gives freely, yet gains even more;
another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. (Proverbs 11:24, NIV)
A dear woman at my daughter’s church turns 101 years old today. She’s a fixture of the church and community–even one of these old country roads bears her family name. She invests her love by serving others. She’s an amazing seamstress and wears lovely clothing that she made herself. A neighbor of mine down the road spoke of her and her sewing skills, and I was taken by surprise that he knew her and had had his clothes altered by her! She attended my daughter’s piano recital. She always took time to greet us after church service and offer a kind and encouraging word to my daughter when she was finished playing. She gives gifts freely and randomly. She is loved dearly by the community and celebrated–because of her kindness.
… a kindhearted woman gains honor … one person gives freely, yet gains even more …
Lord, help me to keep a kingdom focus. I need you and your word–a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.