There are a few things I still do instinctively on a baseball field. I get into ready position. I spit. I move to back up the play. I call the ball in the air. It’s odd, really, what sticks with you. While guys whose playing days are over might not be able to run, hit, or throw like they once did, there are certain things that never leave you. You do them without thinking. You learned them early and often and they are now simply part of who you are on the field.

Proverbs 3:3–“Do not let kindness and truth leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.”

God wants some things to be instinctive for us, just like ready position or backing up a play. But, just like those things on the field, making a perpetual habit out of kindness and truth doesn’t come naturally to us. We must learn them by both instruction and repetition. They take teachability and practice.

There’s a reason coaches harp on players to call the ball or back up a play. These are always important in the game. Errors happen and/or are compounded without them. There’s a reason God harps on kindness and truth. They are always important in life.

If we are to have them around our necks like that gold necklace with your number on it, or written on our hearts like the stats you’ve memorized, here are some ideas on how to make that happen.

Say thanks for the even the smallest kind thing someone does for you. Say it. Write it. Be grateful. Value kindness. The more you identify it and value it in others, the more you’ll know what it looks like, and the more you’ll be able to imitate it.

Look for the kind of truth that isn’t based on someone’s feelings or circumstances. (Hint: it’s in the Scripture). We live in a world that thinks it knows truth. Yet, its truth is completely relative, changing based on mood or situation. God’s truth, on the other hand, never changes. There might be parts of it you don’t like initially, but you can count on it to be the same now and always. Truth that is situational is no truth at all.

Memorize scripture about kindness and compassion. This is how kindness and truth will never leave you. By memorizing the verses dealing with kindness, you’re filling your mind with the truth about it. Think of it as a double play.

Lord Jesus, make your way of life instinctive to me. Fill my heart with truth and kindness. Make them as natural to me as spitting on the field. Amen