In Proverbs we read “even a child makes himself known by his acts” (Proverbs 20:11); it then says, “whether his conduct is pure and upright”. It is saying that what we actually do proves what we really are far more than by what we say. It is also said that we teach by example, more than words, thus verse 7 tells us, “The righteous walks in his integrity blessed are his children after him”. They have been taught by example and often children are more transparent in their actions than adults.

Another interesting proverb is “The purpose in a man’s heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out” (Proverbs 20:5). Do we consider our purpose in doing something? If we really are a person who considers our ways, thinking carefully about all our intentions, then we will “draw it out” like one drawing water from a well and this takes time and effort. Of course, when the Bible uses the word ‘man’ it usually means all human beings, unless the context makes it clear it means a male. It draws no distinction between boys or girls, “even a child” obviously means both!

Finally, verse 6 is interesting; ponder what it means. “Many a man (person) proclaims his (or her) own steadfast love, but a faithful man (person) who can find?” (Proverbs 20:6). It is telling us that what we say, what we declare to be our motives, is in many cases, not entirely correct; although it is not a real lie, because there is an element of truth in it. How often do we say things “with reservation?”

I have known statements to be made, and agreement to be requested on them “without reservation”. This is sad; it means we are acknowledging that often we say things, not fully meaning them. This should not be so among those who aim to become children of God (read Romans 8:17).

“Even a child” if we start when we are children trying to do this, there is a better chance of us being found to be that kind of person when we are grown up.