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Known by Our Doings

( [email protected] ) Aug 13, 2004 11:38 AM EDT

Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right. (Proverbs 20:11 KJV)

When I was about three years old, my mom taught me the letter E with today’s verse, which begins with that letter. But more than merely teaching me my ABCs, she was forming my character. Often enough, my doings merited other forms of instruction as well. Let’s just say that when I was growing up, the wooden spoons in the kitchen were frequently used for more than just stirring cake batter!

Now it’s my turn to teach our daughter the truth of this proverb. She’s learning that we know her by her actions whether her conduct is pure and right. Sharing her bouncy ball with the neighbor boy, helping clean up her toys, and giving dolly a bottle are some good “doings.” It’s amazing to watch a child at play. Both positive and negative choices are evident. And by training her to know the difference, she learns right from wrong.

The same applies to adults. We too are known by our doings. As someone said, “We first make our habits, then our habits make us.” Or as author and social reformer Samuel Smiles stated: “Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny.”

Used with permission.