“Ladies Bible Study” was a weekly event when I was a child. My mother always wanted me to be present but with certain limitations. “Larry,” she would remind me from time to time, “children are to be seen and not heard.” My role, unless called upon to say something, was to sit silently in a chair, smile occasionally, and not wiggle. Impossible for a small child.
But the “be seen” always put pressure on me. I had to wear a shirt and tie, make sure my shoes were shined and my pants had a “sharp crease” in them. And, I still follow those rules to this day whenever I attend a meeting or appear in public. So, things worked then and still do!
“Even small children are known by their actions,” wrote Solomon, “so is their conduct really pure and upright?” The word “actions” implies “patterns of behavior that become second nature and last a lifetime.” It’s called “second nature” for a reason: behaviors become routine and are done without much thinking. And this captures the idea of this verse: What is in our behavior is a reflection of our character. Or, what’s on the inside will be seen on the outside.
The words “Even small children?” may lead us to the wrong conclusion if we do not look carefully at what Solomon is saying. “Even” means “in addition to” adults. We see patterns in children that reveal what is at the center of their hearts. Without being aware or even thinking about it, our behaviors are very consistent, from childhood through adulthood. They do not vary, and we do what we do because it “gets” us what we want!
When we stand back and look at our lives and ask: “Is my life what I want it to be? Am I pleasing God and honoring Him?” If the answer is “No,” - it’s time to turn to the Lord and ask for His mercy, grace, and forgiveness. We must never give up on ourselves or others!
Prayer: Lord, help us to focus on how we think and then act. May we be careful in everything we say and do. May we reflect You, Your love, and grace and in all things. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture For Today: Proverbs 20:11 Even small children are known by their actions,” wrote Solomon, “so is their conduct really pure and upright?