Gaining Favor Without Compromise

Luke 2:52 

And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.

Let’s discuss the concept of gaining favor. In the corporate world I have heard phrases such as: 

  • He’s a real suck-up
  • He’s got his lips locked to his boss’ butt 
  • Watch out! She’ll throw you under the bus in order to make herself look good 

Not very flattering statements. We often feel the strong urge to look good in the eyes of others; especially those of influence and standing. But people struggle with the right way to gain favor with others. 

Let’s read these two verses about Jesus in his youth. We will also consider a couple of supporting references from the Old Testament. 


Gaining favor with God and man

The Child continued to grow and become strong, increasing in wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him. Luke 2:40 

And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men. Luke 2:52 

Now the boy Samuel was growing in stature and in favor both with the Lord and with men. I Samuel 2:26 

Do not let kindness and truth leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good repute in the sight of God and man.  Proverbs 3.3,4 


Let’s look at them again a little closer. What is the main theme? 

  • Jesus: the grace of God was upon Him. And Jesus kept increasing in… favor with God and men. 
  • Samuel: growing in favor both with the Lord and with men. 
  • Proverbs: Do not let kindness and truth leave you….so you will find favor and good repute in the sight of God and man. 

I opened with a few bad examples of how people attempt to gain favor. But in these Scriptures, we see some positive examples of gaining favor from Jesus and Samuel as well as a predictive Proverb to instruct us. 


Favor with God 

The pursuit of ‘gaining favor with God is a slippery slope! Why? Because the delicate outcome of ‘gaining favor’ with God is counter-intuitive to our natural tendencies.  

Gaining favor with God is not about doing. Our natural tendency is to do; to take action; to gain favor by acting a certain way and doing something.  

It is not about setting the goal to ‘do things’ in order to gain favor. All of the religions of the world, other than Christianity, are about acting and doing things in order to achieve favor with God or a god. 


Do you want favor with God? 

Recieve it! Accept the free gift of salvation by faith. Accept it without ‘doing’ anything to deserve it. Embrace the truth of the gospel and be right with God.

Now that you have gain forgiveness and favor with God, what should you do? Now you can take action with your heart, honor God. 

And what does the Lord require of you but to do justice (to stand for the truth), to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8 


Favor with People 

Now, what about gaining favor with people. Do you want favor with others? This is where hypocrisy and ‘kissing up’ can rear its ugly head. Be careful. It’s not about acting in such a way as to ‘look good’ to others. 

According to Proverbs 3.3.,4, it is two things: 

  • The Truth: stand upon the principles of God and live them out in good times and bad times. Don’t do it to gain favor with others. Do it because it is right. Even those who do not believe as you do, will respect you for being consistent and standing strong on what you believe. Not everyone is going to like you. You will endure resistance, difficulty, loneliness and even persecution. But those of us with noble and principled hearts will be respected. 
  • Kindness: don’t parse out your kindness to select people whom you hope to impress. BE KIND TO EVERYONE; IN ALL SITUATIONS; AT ALL TIMES. 

Who are the Christian people you most admire and respect the most? I guarantee they are principled individuals who know God’s Truth and live it humbly with conviction. I’m also sure they are gracious and kind to all.  

They don’t do these things to impress others. It is who they are.  


May God grant you much favor today to live under the umbrella of His truth and lovingkindness. May God fill your soul with grace so to speak with Him throughout this day, speaking humbly and conversing lovingly with Him and with others you come contact with today. May God pour out His grace upon you that you might consciously love Him and others at all times and at every moment – a lofty request – for all things are possible with Him. Amen!