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 are the foundation for 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 strengths or limitations are placed on another individual. Never mind “who said what,” an opinion is formed. Even first impressions or a few words shared about another person can last a life time. 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 important.
“A person is praised because of their prudence, and one with a warped mind is despised,” wrote Solomon.
This “warning” reminds us that we are responsible for what others come to believe about us. Prudence describes the moral 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.
Prayer: Lord, You observe us and others do the same. May our lives always bring honor to Your Name. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Proverbs 12:8 A person is praised according to their prudence, and one with a warped mind is despised.