Daily D – Ruth 2:12-13
Ruth 2:12, 13 “May the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge, reward you fully for what you have done.” “I hope I continue to please you, sir,” she replied. “You have comforted me by speaking so kindly to me, even though I am not one of your workers.” (NLT)
Do you know how to bless others with your words? Do you know how to receive a blessing from others? These simple graces are far too rare. Here we have a wonderful example. First, take a look at what Boaz says.
“May the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge, reward you fully for what you have done.”
Boaz recognizes in Ruth the character God seeks and rewards. He sees what God sees and says so. How many people in our lives would stand taller and walk straighter if we openly acknowledged their growth, development, and reflection of God’s nature?
Second, look at how Ruth responds.
“I hope I continue to please you, sir,” she replied. “You have comforted me by speaking so kindly to me, even though I am not one of your workers.”
Her way of life has been noticed and openly acknowledged. She feels rewarded, strengthened, and grateful.
Each side of this short conversation is worth translating into our habits of heart and mind.
Learn to give blessings. Speak specially chosen words of edification (Ephesians 4:29). Declare truth. Emphasize character. Anticipate a special future.
Learn to receive blessings. Declare your intention to continue along the trajectory of living a life that honors God. Emphasize the kindness of the compliment. Anticipate continuing mutual encouragement.
Years ago, two family friends named Jim and Shirley stepped in and provide our family with unanticipated, and most welcome, kindness. Choosing how to respond was a challenge. I stumbled over my attempt. It was an awkward moment. Shirley taught me an important lesson when she stopped my blather by saying, “Just say ‘Thank you.’”
I will speak edifying words and respond to edification with gratitude.
Our Father, thank you for words of affirmation that declare how we are becoming who we need to be. Thank you for the time and effort people make in noticing when we do something right and emphasize the meaning of that behavior. Thank you for how those people strengthen us for living into our best next steps. Empower us to bless others with the power of words fitly spoken (Proverbs 25:11). Teach us how to express gratitude with focused simplicity. Amen.
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Deuteronomy 8:12-18 When you eat and are full, and build beautiful houses to live in, and your herds and flocks grow large, and your silver and gold multiply, and everything else you have increases, be careful that your heart doesn’t become proud and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery. He led you through the great and terrible wilderness with its poisonous snakes and scorpions, a thirsty land where there was no water. He brought water out of the flint rock for you. He fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your ancestors had not known, in order to humble and test you, so that in the end he might cause you to prosper. You may say to yourself, ‘My power and my own ability have gained this wealth for me,’ but remember that the Lord your God gives you the power to gain wealth, in order to confirm his covenant he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 “Listen, Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them be a symbol on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your city gates.“
Deuteronomy 1:2, 3 It is an eleven-day journey from Horeb to Kadesh-barnea by way of Mount Seir. In the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first of the month, Moses told the Israelites everything the Lord had commanded him to say to them.