When the LORD takes pleasure in anyone’s way, he causes their enemies to make peace with them. Proverbs 16:7 NIV
As you follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, may He make smooth your relationships with your adversaries. I had a short lived business venture in which I made a mistake by entering a wrong home. A year later, I was being sued. I had good insurance which hired a lawyer to defend my case. I was distressed. My whole life had been committed to helping people. It took another year of legal back and forth, but it was eventually settled out of court completely through my lawyers work. He was thankful and surprised that the case was settled. I realized that my God was at work.
There are two other principles entering into this equation for blessing and favor. Jesus said if the world hated Him, they will hate us also. As we follow in the footsteps of Christ should we anticipate everyone hating us? There will be people that will not like us because of the message of Christ. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to Father God, except through Jesus. This message is a stumbling block to those who choose to deny it. When we represent this message to others, there will be resistance and push back. Our good intentions will be perverted. Our loving actions will be misrepresented. Our message will be perceived as hateful and narrow. There will be those who don’t like us because we align our lives with Jesus.
Secondly, there is the trap of the “if-then’s” of the Bible. If I am good, then God will show me favor. If I follow all of God’s rules, then He will accept me. The gospel message reveals that we can never be good enough to gain the favor of the “then” blessings. Jesus is our only answer. This is a true statement regarding our salvation. We can’t earn it through good works.
Solomon has a specific realm intended for the blessing of this verse. He is referring to the interactions we have with people. The “way” is the journey of life or mode of actions that a person takes with people. Specifically, how do you relate socially and with business dealings? God’s pathways are clear that we should treat people fairly, don’t lie, cheat, or steal. We should speak the truth and fulfill our commitments. We should seek justice for those who have been wronged, and show mercy whenever possible. This is not about doing everything perfectly but rather seeking to treat all relationships that we have with honor and dignity instead of judging, belittling, or ridiculing them. We are seeking to be humble and fair.
We are expected as followers of Jesus to treat people fairly and with respect. When we do this, Solomon says that God creates peace with our enemies. Do you have some family relationship issues that stem from not following through with forgiveness? Do you have creditors that are waiting for your to fulfill your legal commitments? Are you fulfilling your contracts as an employee to do your best at your job? Is there a conversation that you have been avoiding, hoping things will just blow over? Do the right thing and follow God’s pathway.
May your ways and God’s way align so that His favor rest on you.
Blessings Love y’all