Saturday, May 21, 2011
May 20th – Proverbs 20: Known By Your Deeds
“Even a child is known by his actions, by whether his conduct is pure and right.” – Proverbs 20:11
I remember being a young, fresh faced pastor once. I’m still young, but the face has been a bit worn from many years of dealing with crazies. I started working with the kids, but before long my wife and I were meeting with other couples, trying to help them with common problems in marriage and relationships, etc. The one thing I would hear time and time again and frankly the thing that frustrated me the most was this comment: “Now please, hear my heart.” What bothered me about the comment is that the person saying it would almost always make that appeal after detailing their exploits and bad behavior that were the EXACT OPPOSITE of what they claimed was “in their heart”.
This Proverb skewers that kind of reasoning and tells us that even little kids are known, recognized and acknowledged by what they do. If they do bad stuff, they are known as a rotten little monster. If they do good stuff, they are known as a good kid. Somehow when we grow up I think many folks feel that this principle no longer applies. I can’t tell you how many drug dealing, crack addicted, homosexual, wife-beating, alcoholic deadbeats I have talked to over the years that will tell you, “I’m really a good person!” No, you’re not. You’re a horrible, evil MONSTER… and that’s not a judgment, it’s a fruit assessment.
"Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.” – Matthew 7:15-18
Jesus told us that we would know people based on the FRUIT of their life, NOT their words. Many people honestly think that because they can form the words “I love you” to their spouse, that they are walking in love with their spouse. Many times they will SAY “I love you” while they DO actions that express the exact opposite sentiment. So what are we to believe?
I’m sorry to tell you, but we are to turn a deaf ear to people’s proclamations of their own faithfulness and look to their ACTIONS. You see, we are not a product of what we KNOW, but what we DO with what we KNOW. KNOWING the right thing and DOING the right thing are completely different concepts. You can try and beat the system, but it’s ironclad. You are KNOWN but what you DO, not what you SAY.
Prison is full of people who knew the right thing to do, but didn’t. So is hell.