“Sticks and stones can break my bones, but names will never hurt me!”
That little phrase has been used by many parents and teachers to comfort children who have been harassed. Words used to describe another person are important because they form the foundation of one’s reputation. And, like it or not, everyone has a reputation.
Age is almost irrelevant when we talk about another person. Opinions are formed, decisions made, and often opportunities or limitations are placed on another individual because of what is said about them. Never mind “who said what,” an opinion is formed. Even first impressions or a few words shared about another person can last a lifetime. What is said and heard about someone can build them up or tear them down.
If the words are praiseworthy, they can bring honor to that person. If they are mean- spirited, they may result in a life of torment to the one defamed. Words stick and sometimes shatter hopes and dreams. What we do and what others say about what we do is critical!
“A person is praised because of their wise choices, and one with a warped mind is despised,” wrote Solomon. This “warning” reminds us that we are responsible for what others believe about us based on our behavior. “Prudence” describes the choices we make and are observed by others. If our choices are “honorable,” we will be praised. Otherwise, our reputation for having a “warped mind,” or being a person “with a crooked heart” will come to light.
What a challenge this presents to Christians. We must walk our talk!
Prayer: Lord, You, as well as everyone else, observe everything we do. May we live honorably, righteously, and always in agreement with Your teachings! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture For Today: Proverbs 12:8 A person is praised because of their wise choices, and one with a warped mind is despised.