“The one who pursues righteousness and faithful love will find life, righteousness, and honor.” Proverbs 21:21 (CSB)
The bright sunshine and cheerfully chirping birds were calling my name on a busy work-from-home spring afternoon. And so I grabbed my phone to venture out to the front porch for a little “brain break.”
I was feeling quite overwhelmed from all the responsibilities I have in life as a worker, wife, mother and daughter. And truthfully, I was certain I wasn’t doing a decent job at any of them that day.
So I parked myself on a wicker chair and hopped on social media, where I began to tap, swipe and scroll my way around. Big mistake.
Each click seemed to showcase others who were not struggling at all in work or at home. Instead, they were “crushing it,” as one post declared.
Within the short span of about three minutes, I was shown all the following:
A woman who was remodeling her kitchen by installing trendy subway tile all by herself.
A small-business owner who had doubled her profits in the last year by implementing some new selling strategies.
And finally, a mom who posted one of those “day in the life” series on her Instagram story, detailing her rather successful day. She had home-schooled her children, thoroughly cleaned her home from top to bottom and yet somehow still had time to whip up some homemade sourdough bread to accompany the from-scratch meal she was preparing for company that night.
Sigh. These sisters were crushing it, all right. I, on the other hand, was feeling my spirit crushed by comparison.
So often we wish we could be more like others whose lives seem so fruitful. After all, they must be doing something right … right? It isn’t wrong to seek accomplishments, run a side-hustle business or share productivity hacks with others. But is “crushing it” at home or at work what God calls us to strive for most? Or is there something altogether different God wants us to chase even more?
In Proverbs 21:21, we see a glimpse of what God deems an important pursuit: “The one who pursues righteousness and faithful love will find life, righteousness, and honor.” The Hebrew word used for “righteousness” means “honesty, fairness and just deeds.” In this verse, the concept of faithful love in Hebrew denotes human acts of kindness — especially to the lowly, needy or miserable. When I think of this deeper meaning, I am reminded of the life rule my mother taught me.
Mom encouraged me to stop looking at others who seem to have life better off than me and instead seek out the ones who surely don’t. “There is always someone out there who has things worse off than you. Go find that person and do something to make their day,” she would say. “In a strange way, it will end up making yours as well.”
This outlook can help us gain and maintain a ministry mindset. Showing kindness to the lowly, needy or miserable is not only in keeping with the advice in Proverbs, but it also can prevent our spirits from deflating when we spy others out there who seem to be “crushing it.”
Of course we should cheer on our real-life and online friends when we see them working hard or achieving success. However, let’s strive most to pursue righteousness and faithful love — love showered on us by God and then, in turn, shown to others.
Rest easy, sister. You don’t have to “crush it.” Let’s place our focus instead on looking for those who are crushed in spirit, and let’s do something to cheer, support or encourage them with the faithful love of Jesus.
Gracious Father, help me to get my eyes off others’ successes and instead be intentionally looking for those who need care and encouragement. Use my words and actions to help lift their spirits and point them to You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
OUR FAVORITE THINGS
What if we stopped despising the small beginnings and instead stepped confidently into the place God has us at right now? That’s why we have spent intentional time creating an experience just for you at She Speaks Conference: The Best-Kept Secrets for Content Creators, happening July 14-16 in person and July 14-15 online! During our time together, you can simply show up, listen and learn. Pray and dream. You don’t have to push or prove or earn anything. Because when we’re together, we are courageous enough to celebrate every single small win. Click here to learn more!
If you need some creative ways to cheer or support others — or to give a thoughtful and unique gift — Karen Ehman’s book Make Their Day: 101 Simple, Powerful Ways to Love Others Well is packed with doable and affordable ideas to encourage friends, family, coworkers and even complete strangers.
You can connect with Karen on her Facebook page and find free downloadable resources on her website.
Or head to her Instagram account, where you can enter to win one of three copies of her book Make Their Day along with a $15 gift card to take someone out for a cup of coffee or tea.
FOR DEEPER STUDY
Psalm 34:18, “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.” (NLT)
How might showing love to the lowly, needy or miserable help to change your perspective today?
Name one person you will reach out to today, showing them that God is close and helping to lift their spirits. What specifically will you do?
We always love hearing your thoughts! Share them with us in the comments.
© 2022 by Karen Ehman. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
P.O. Box 3189
Matthews, NC 28106