A Child Is Known By His Deeds

No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave. (Lou Nicholes - Missionary/Author).


A person’s behavior reflects his character. Even a child’s actions and conduct reveal what they are like We all must do the things that please God (v. 11). That is why it is important to not only listen to what people say but also to observe with our eyes what people do (v. 12). Sleeping when one ought to be working results in lack of food (v. 13) The lazy man becomes poor, because he refuses to work. The worker earns his wages, so that he has plenty of food. Christians who are sleeping should be aroused to a sense of the value of time which is so rapidly passing away (Eph. 5:15-16).

Sometimes a shrewd buyer tries to bargain with the seller in order to get the price lowered (v. 14). Then having bought it the buyer brags about the deal he got. The person who is selling needs to be on guard to such bargain hunters. Gold and precious stones seem valuable but knowledge is more valuable than gold or precious stones (v. 15). You deserve to lose your coat if you loan it to someone to guarantee payment for the debt of a stranger (v. 16). The food you get by cheating may taste delicious, but it turns to gravel (v. 17). In other words, we might feel happy when we do an evil action. But soon it will feel terrible. Be sure you have sound advice before making plans or starting a war (v. 18). Be careful of those who flatter to your face because they will probably gossip about you behind your back (v. 19). When such a person gets in among a Christian assembly, he can do untold mischief. The safe plan is to refuse altogether to listen to “him that flattereth with his lips”. By doing this much sorrow can be averted.

In Old Testament times a person who cursed his parents violated the fifth commandment (Eph. 20:12) and death was the penalty (Ex. 21:17). To have ones lamp put out is a picturesque way of referring to death (v. 20). No parents are perfect in all their ways but they are to be honored because of their position.


What is God’s promise to those who honor their parents (Eph. 6:3). I not only need to show honor to my parents but I need to teach my children to do the same.

Proverbs 20:11-20 (English Standard Version)

Even a child makes himself known by his acts, by whether his conduct is pure and upright. The hearing ear and the seeing eye, the LORD has made them both. Love not sleep, lest you come to poverty; open your eyes, and you will have plenty of bread. "Bad, bad," says the buyer, but when he goes away, then he boasts. There is gold and abundance of costly stones, but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel. Take a man's garment when he has put up security for a stranger, and hold it in pledge when he puts up security for foreigners. Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man, but afterward his mouth will be full of gravel. Plans are established by counsel; by wise guidance wage war. Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets; therefore do not associate with a simple babbler. If one curses his father or his mother, his lamp will be put out in utter darkness.

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