11 Even a child makes himself known by his acts,
by whether his conduct is pure and upright.
How do we know what a child is like? How do we know what is going on in their little heads? This proverb makes it simple; a child is known by their actions whether their conduct is pure and right. What is a child like? Just ask a church nursery worker or a children’s church teacher which children are well-behaved and which ones are not. When mommy walks away the actions of the child tell us whether they have anger, fear, or peace; it does not take long to know which children know how to share and which ones grab the toy and hit the other children with it. Some children play well with others and some don’t. It does not take long to know the heart of a child.
This proverb begins with the word ‘even’ indicating a comparison is about to be stated. This word is used in Proverbs 16:7 “When a man’s ways please the Lord, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.” In this verse the word ‘even’ describes a comparison between our enemies and our friends including everyone in between.
In today’s proverb the comparison between children and adults reminds us that adults, like children, are known by their acts, by whether their conduct is pure and right. After listing the problems of her husband, a wife will end by saying, “but he really is a good man.” If a man’s actions are angry, profane, selfish, and hurtful, then he is not a good man. If a man or a woman is kind, giving, respectful, and faithful, then we could say that they, by their actions, are a good person.
But let’s turn the mirror toward ourselves, what do our actions say about us, what kind of a person are we? Let’s be honest, while we want to see a good reflection of ourselves, what do our actions tell others about who we really are? For the Christ-follower, we are to let Him live His life through us; at that point, our goodness is not our own but His through us. If even a child is known by his actions, what are we known to be?
Last night we had a small group meeting in Serpong with Yoke and Melanie. Romin invited two of his Iranian refugee friends who came. We studied Ephesians 1:1-8 together really enjoying the focus on God’s blessing to us, His choosing us, and His adopting us all to the praise of His glory according to His grace which He lavished on us. To hear from refugees, who have next to nothing, that they who once were rich in this world’s goods but now are poor in this world’s goods are now rich in Christ. It was a blessed evening around the Word of God with the people of God.
Have a great day in the Lord,