Proverbs 3:3-4 Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. 4 Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.
Love and faithfulness – what marvelous attributes these are! Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every Christian was primarily characterized by these?
Consider the contrast by viewing verse 4 in two different ways. On the one hand, verse 4 becomes the question, “What can I do to win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man?” This is an entirely appropriate question and desire. The Lord provides a wonderful answer in verse 3 to accomplish that goal.
But there’s another question that can be asked that reflects a subtle yet significant difference in motivation. “Lord, what things are important to You that should characterize my life?” Love and faithfulness (verse 3) is an answer to that question and verse 4 becomes the result of living such a life.
In both scenarios, the obedient Christian will live a life expressing love and faithfulness. This results in favor and a good name. But I think the motivation of the second question expresses a “more excellent way”. The distinction is that the goal is not winning favor and having a good name, but living a life that expresses love for God – that will glorify Him.
This all speaks to the issue of “why”. Why do we do what we do? What is our motivation? Do we do things to get blessed? Or, do we do things to express our love for Him and one another – and blessings are the fruit?