We all have favorite Bible verses, but do you have certain books of the Bible that you turn to for specific needs?
One of my favorite books is Proverbs. Such wisdom, so well expressed. Proverbs 22 is a chapter that abounds with incisive sayings. A well-known verse is the first one in that chapter: “A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.”
Another familiar one, verse 6: “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”
A later one there that I appreciate, not so well-known, is verse 11: “One who loves a pure heart and who speaks with grace will have the king for a friend.”
Of course our country doesn’t have a king, but this verse still speaks to me about what will happen to me if I function from a pure heart and speak with grace: I’ll have great people for friends.
I’ve found that to be true. When I am my best self, I’m surrounded by people with loving servant hearts. When I let myself descend into gossiping, complaining, or criticizing, people with similar inclinations are around. Of course, when I’m in that negative mode, I choose to be with like-minded people!
But I want the king for my friend. People of noble character, those whose “better angels” determine their paths.
Lincoln ended his first inaugural address with this earnest plea: “The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”
As our nation is again divided, an organization called “Better Angels” has been formed to guide conversations and bring forth “the better angels of our nature.” It’s encouraging to me that some people are making efforts to really listen to those with totally opposite opinions.
But on a small, local scale, my own “better angels” can guide me to influence those around me in positive measures to promote love and mercy as well as justice. After all, Hebrews 1:14 assures us that we have these guides: “Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?”
I want the king as a friend, the person who will help others as well as myself to be better, more noble individuals. As I pray this for myself, I also pray for our country, that all of us will have pure hearts and speak with grace.
Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always. 1 Chronicles 16:10-11