Proverbs 21:21

ESV Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness will find life, righteousness, and honor.
NIV Whoever pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor.
NASB One who pursues righteousness and loyalty Finds life, righteousness, and honor.
CSB The one who pursues righteousness and faithful love will find life, righteousness, and honor.
NLT Whoever pursues righteousness and unfailing love will find life, righteousness, and honor.
KJV He that followeth after righteousness and mercy findeth life, righteousness, and honour.

What does Proverbs 21:21 mean?

Solomon (Proverbs 10:1) wisely points out that a life marked by virtues such as kindness and morality tends to result in longer life, spiritual growth, and a good reputation. This pursuit involves a proper relationship to God, tied to "righteousness." It also demands a proper relationship to others, characterized by "kindness." These are sometimes referred to as "vertical" and "horizontal" relationships, respectively. Of course, this is not an absolute rule, since good people can suffer unfair treatment in this life. But those who sincerely seek Christ, and His goodness, can expect eternal rewards (Matthew 6:33).

Jesus echoed the lesson of this verse by saying, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied" (Matthew 5:6). When a person believes on Jesus as Savior, he receives eternal life and righteousness (John 3:16; 2 Corinthians 5:21), and when he shows kindness to others, they honor him. In the early church a woman named Dorcas was righteous and kind. According to Acts 9:36, "she was full of good works and acts of charity." When she died, her peers honored her. They summoned Peter, and with tears, all the widows showed him the tunics and other garments that Dorcas had made (Acts 9:39).
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