How to Find Favor with Others

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Favor (2 of 3): How to Find Favor with Others

For dad only:

How to Find Favor with Others

Your kids will grow up well-adjusted if you teach them how to find favor with people. Demanding, rude kids will have a hard go of it in life. Considerate, kind young people will win hearts wherever they go.

Jesus found favor with people while He was just a boy:

And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man. (Luke 2:52)

This verse harkens back to Samuel, who also found favor with others, and to the book of wisdom for young men:

Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man. (Proverbs 3:3-4)

These verses together hand us four principles to teach our young men and women about finding favor with others.

People favor those with wisdom

If your kids can think out consequences, they will excel at whatever the Lord calls them to. The world is full of fools who cannot think two weeks in advance, let along plan ten years down the road. Everyone dreams. Wise people plan and prepare.

Wisdom also includes the art of learning a trade or having a career skill. Let your kids get good at something. In today’s devotional on finding favor with people, Rusty learns the value of having skills. Give your kids something to be proud of. But do not force your interests on them. Teach them music, woodworking, or computer drafting. Let them grow. Do more than just make sports fans out of them.

Health and appearances do matter

Ugly people do not find favor in our world. Better jobs and better pay go to people we like to look at. Teach your kids to look good. I know they go through stages where they hate showers or want to live in the same pair of socks forever, but teach them to take care of their bodies. Ugliness comes from bad hygiene, careless dressing, and bad attitudes.

Teach your kids to be beautiful with something simple: a smile. Even the ugliest face looks radiant with a big grin. It is irresistible. A genuine, holy love for others makes your children shine all the more. The ugliest person is the selfish one.

Truthful people have advantages

People favor honest people. Even crooks hate to be lied to. Teach your kids not to deceive others. If you deceive, you lose favor. If you twist things to make you look good, people stop liking you.

Joseph had favor because he was trustworthy.

Let them be honest even if they tell you what you do not want to hear. Do not punish them when they confess their guilt. Forgive. That’s how God does it.

I do not want to raise my kids to be deceptive about their appearance, either. God made us the way we are, my girls do not need makeup to appear beautiful. False beauty like this makes the wrong message. They can win great favor without lying through jewelry, hair dye, or surgical alterations.

Mercy will endear people to you forever

Teach your kids to find favor by modeling it through mercy. Do not extract every cent. Don’t squeeze for every drop of blood. Give in and show them love.

If you let them hold grudges or tattle, they are learning to be unmerciful. If you are unmerciful, people will hate you. Stop looking for every flaw. Give more than deserved. Love without limit. Relax. Care. You will find favor everywhere.

Students love merciful teachers. Kids love merciful parents. This does not mean you are a soft-soap, pushover. You should be firm enough that they appreciate your mercy.

Boaz was merciful to Ruth. He was wealthy, but everyone loved him. Your kids’ financial success may depend on their ability to find favor with others.


Read this to the kids:

Knowing What to Do

Last time, Rusty had restored a wagon and began working with Dad on an old truck project.

Rusty and Dad had spent an hour taking apart the carburetor and cleaning it. Now that it was all clean, they carefully put all the pieces back together.

“I am glad you know what you are doing, Dad,” Rusty said. “I would not have known how to put all of this together. There are so many little rubber pieces and screws.”

“Well, at least I still know how to work on this stuff. I wouldn’t know what to do with these newer vehicles.”

“Yeah, I remember when your work truck broke down and you had to get a tow truck to haul it.”

Dad shook his head and laughed remembering that day. After they had the unit back together, Dad showed Rusty how to bolt it back onto the engine.

In a few minutes, they had the fuel line back on and Rusty put on the air filter. After he tightened the wing nuts as tight as he could get them with his fingers, he said, “Okay, let’s start it up!”

Dad said, “Go ahead.”

Rusty jumped in the cab and turned the key. The engine fired up, ran for a second, and then died.

“Hang on,” Dad said. He adjusted something with his screwdriver. “Okay, now try it,” he said, stepping back.

Rusty turned the key, and the motor started but ran weakly. Dad reached in and pulled on something making the engine rev up loudly. He turned something with his screwdriver again.

Now the engine ran smoothly and sounded good. Rusty hopped out to look over Dad’s shoulder.

Dad pulled the accelerator lever and revved the engine some more. He looked over his shoulder and smiled at Rusty. “We did it!” he said.

They let it run for a minute and then Dad turned it off. “Next,” he said, “we have to fix the exhaust.”

“What is the exhaust?” Rusty asked.

“The muffler and pipes that come out of the engine. Notice how loud they are?”

“I like how it sounds,” Rusty said. “It has a good rumble to it.”

Dad smiled as he got down on the floor to look underneath the truck. “I know how you feel, but our neighbors may not like hearing that.” He looked up and down the pipes and pushed on the muffler.

“Why does it matter what the neighbors think. It is our truck. We can do what we want with it, right?”

Dad pulled himself out from under the truck and sat up, looking at Rusty. “Do you like having people mad at you?”

Rusty shrugged, “No, I guess not.”

“Sure, Rusty, we could do as we please, but the world is too small to only think about ourselves. We find favor with people when we consider what they want.”

Rusty nodded. “I guess it is selfish to drive a loud vehicle when someone else is trying to sleep or something.”

“Think of it like this, son,” Dad said, “if you only think about yourself, no one else ever will. If you always think about others, they will take care of you.”

Rusty nodded and thought about that for a while, as Dad took a close look at what all needed to be replaced in the truck’s exhaust system.

When Dad went to the part’s store, Rusty had to stay home to finish chores Mom had asked him to do earlier.

Once he finished, he went back into the garage. Misty was there working on her bicycle. Rusty climbed under the truck to look at the exhaust.

Misty grunted, “Oh, this chain. I want to ride my bike, but this chain keeps coming off.”

Rusty looked at the hole in the muffler and shook the loose pipe Dad said they needed to replace.

Misty looked in the tool box for a wrench. “Which one of these will help me tighten the bolt or fix this thing?”

Rusty found an old clump of dirt stuck on the truck frame. He chipped at it with his finger.

“Do you know how to fix this, Rusty? You got your bike chain tight when it started slipping.”

“I don’t know,” he said.

She let go of her bike by accident and it banged into Rusty’s wagon.

“Hey!” He said, “be careful.” He climbed out from under the truck and ran inside. In a minute he came back out of the house and grabbed his wagon. Misty was still fussing with her bike chain as he pulled his wagon out the door.

“Where you going?” she asked.

“To sell my wagon. I decided I would, and Mom said I could go.”


Rusty walked up the street to the house of the woman who offered to buy his restored wagon. Her little dog was in the front yard. Rusty walked up the path and knocked on the door. No one answered. Then he heard a loud noise from the side of the house like an airplane coming in for landing.

Rusty walked around the side of the house and looked. The lady with the little dog was driving a riding mower that was really loud. He waved at her, and she stopped, smiled, and turned off the mower.

“Thank you for coming,” she said. “I was hoping you would sell it to me! My granddaughter will love it.”

She walked up and shook Rusty’s hand. “Yes, ma’am. I talked it over with my parents and they said I could.”

“Just a minute, dear,” the woman said. She went inside to get her purse.

Rusty walked over to her mower to look at what might be making it so loud. He picked up a little stick and pushed at the muffler. It flopped and rattled a little.

She came back out. “Okay, I said 65 dollars, right?”

Rusty nodded.

She counted the money into his hand. “Thank you, young man. Sorry I didn’t hear you when you came up, my mower is too loud.”

“Your muffler is loose,” he said.

“Is that it? How do I fix it?”

Rusty shrugged. “Do you have any tools?”

“Yes, I do. Here in the shed. She walked over to her tool shed. What kind of tool?”

“A little wrench—probably three-eighths or so.”

“Well, I don’t know what that is; I just got a set for Christmas, y’know.” She picked up a little tool box and handed it to Rusty. “Here.”

Rusty carried it back over to where the mower sat. He pulled out a wrench and tried it. It was too big. He picked up another one and tried it. It fit perfectly. He tightened up the bolts until the muffler was nice and snug.

“Okay,” he said, smiling, “now try it.”

The woman started the mower and it was very much quieter than before. She shut it off and said, “Thank you so much. If I had known it was that simple, well, you are good at working with things. What do I owe you for this job?”

Rusty smiled, “Oh, nothing. Glad I could help.”

“Thank you, young man. If I have anything else break, I will give you a call.”

Rusty smiled and looked at the money in his hand. “Thanks for the money.” They said goodbye and Rusty headed home.

Dad got home shortly after Rusty did and Rusty told him about his adventure. Dad said, “I am proud of you, being able to take care of our neighbor like that, son. See, you put yourself in favor with her.”

Rusty nodded and tried not to look at Misty. After supper, Rusty and Misty were doing the dishes when they heard a knock at the front door.

Rusty went to answer the door and Mom followed him. It was the lady from up the street. She had the wagon behind her and her little dog on a leash.

“Hi, young man.” Looking over Rusty’s shoulder, she said, “You have got quite a boy here. He really helped me with my mower. I bet he is a lot of help around the house.”

“Yes, he is,” Mom said.

The lady smiled and said, “Well, I just wanted to give you all something. Do you eat peaches?”

Rusty nodded.

“Well, here,” she turned to her wagon with some home-canned jars of peaches. “I picked these this summer and canned them. But I will never eat them all.” She picked up something else. “And I bet no one in your house eats apple pie, right?”

Rusty smiled. “Oh, yes we do!”

The woman laughed as she handed the food to Rusty and Mom. Mom visited with the woman for a while as Rusty went back to the dishes.

Afterward, the family sat down and ate some pie. Dad said, “See, Rusty, you found favor with her. That is a lot better than making our neighbors into enemies.”

Rusty nodded and gulped, not looking at Misty.

Dad went on, “You know an engine has to have a lot of things to run right. One thing it needs constantly is oil. Without it, even a good engine will grind to a halt. Kindness is the oil that makes our relationships run smoothly.”

Rusty nodded and took a big drink.

Mom volunteered to clean up the pie dishes, so Rusty ran back out to the garage as soon as he could. Dad came out and found him turning a wrench on Misty’s bike.

“What you doing?” he asked.

Rusty shrugged and said, “Just putting in a little oil.”

“In the bike?” Dad asked.

Rusty laughed. “No, into my relationship with my sister.”


Now discuss it!

What did Rusty learn about finding favor with others?


When have you made someone mad at you and what happened to your friendship?


How did the lady up the street show favor to Rusty and his family?


What was Dad doing to keep peace with his neighbors?


What have you done to find favor with people even though you did not expect them to do anything for you?


What could you do right now to be more favorable with others?


Why was it important for Rusty to find favor with Misty?


Read God’s Word together:

Good Favor or Bad Flavor


One of them said, “Your Majesty, this woman and I live in the same house, and I gave birth to a baby boy at home while she was there. Two days after my child was born, she also gave birth to a baby boy. Only the two of us were there in the house—no one else was present. Then one night she accidentally rolled over on her baby and smothered it. She got up during the night, took my son from my side while I was asleep, and carried him to her bed; then she put the dead child in my bed. The next morning, when I woke up and was going to nurse my baby, I saw that it was dead. I looked at it more closely and saw that it was not my child.”

But the other woman said, “No! The living child is mine, and the dead one is yours!”

The first woman answered back, “No! The dead child is yours, and the living one is mine!” And so they argued before the king.

Then King Solomon said, “Each of you claims that the living child is hers and that the dead child belongs to the other one.” He sent for a sword, and when it was brought, he said, “Cut the living child in two and give each woman half of it.”

The real mother, her heart full of love for her son, said to the king, “Please, Your Majesty, don’t kill the child! Give it to her!”

But the other woman said, “Don’t give it to either of us; go on and cut it in two.”

Then Solomon said, “Don’t kill the child! Give it to the first woman—she is its real mother.” When the people of Israel heard of Solomon’s decision, they were all filled with deep respect for him, because they knew then that God had given him the wisdom to settle disputes fairly….


Rehoboam [son of Solomon] went to Shechem, where all the people of northern Israel had gathered to make him king. When Jeroboam son of Nebat, who had gone to Egypt to escape from King Solomon, heard this news, he returned from Egypt. The people of the northern tribes sent for him, and then they all went together to Rehoboam and said to him, “Your father Solomon treated us harshly and placed heavy burdens on us. If you make these burdens lighter and make life easier for us, we will be your loyal subjects.”

“Come back in three days and I will give you my answer,” he replied. So they left. King Rehoboam consulted the older men who had served as his father Solomon’s advisers. “What answer do you advise me to give these people?” he asked.

They replied, “If you want to serve this people well, give a favorable answer to their request, and they will always serve you loyally.”

But he ignored the advice of the older men and went instead to the young men who had grown up with him and who were now his advisers. “What do you advise me to do?” he asked. “What shall I say to the people who are asking me to make their burdens lighter?”

They replied, “This is what you should tell them: ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s waist!’ Tell them, ‘My father placed heavy burdens on you; I will make them even heavier. He beat you with whips; I’ll flog you with bullwhips!'”

Three days later Jeroboam and all the people returned to King Rehoboam, as he had instructed them. The king ignored the advice of the older men and spoke harshly to the people, as the younger men had advised. He said, “My father placed heavy burdens on you; I will make them even heavier. He beat you with whips; I’ll flog you with bullwhips!”

It was the will of the LORD to bring about what he had spoken to Jeroboam son of Nebat through the prophet Ahijah from Shiloh. This is why the king did not pay any attention to the people.

When the people saw that the king would not listen to them, they shouted, “Down with David and his family! What have they ever done for us? People of Israel, let’s go home! Let Rehoboam look out for himself !” So the people of Israel rebelled, leaving Rehoboam as king only of the people who lived in the territory of Judah.

Then King Rehoboam sent Adoniram, who was in charge of the forced labor, to go to the Israelites, but they stoned him to death. At this, Rehoboam hurriedly got in his chariot and escaped to Jerusalem. Ever since that time the people of the northern kingdom of Israel have been in rebellion against the dynasty of David.

(1 Kings 3:17-28; 12:1-19, GNB)


Let’s talk about it!

What did Solomon do that brought him favor with the poeple?


How can you learn wisdom and find favor with others?


What other reasons are there for learning wisdom?


How did Rehoboam put a bad taste in people’s mouths?


How did they respond?


What would have happened if he had shown more mercy?


What do we need from Proverbs 3:4-5, to find favor?

Wisdom, mercy, and truth


Who did Ruth find favor with, by being merciful?

Boaz saw her mercy toward her mother-in-law


How did Joseph find favor in Egypt?

Being truthful and trustworthy


Role play: Your friend has a pocketful of ketchup packets. He shows them to you and says he is going to stomp them on the sidewalk just to see them splatter. If you do it, will you find favor with others? If you tell on him, will you lose favor with your friend? What should you do? Whose favor should you seek?

Another friend has sneaked a Nintendo DSi into church. He has it on silent and is playing a game. He slides it toward you so you can play. Will you?


Memorize it!

Proverbs 3:3-4


Let not mercy and truth forsake thee:

bind them about thy neck;

write them upon the table of thine heart:

So shalt thou find favour

and good understanding

in the sight of God

and man.

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