Right now, I’m reading the book of Proverbs. I absolutely love this book. It’s chalk full of golden nuggets that aren’t only practical but they encourage you to believe in the impossible. So many things have resonated with me as I have read these chapters. One day, I read something I don’t ever remember reading before that claimed a new promise of God. And another day, I read something I have read before, and I’m challenged to do a better job of applying it to my life.

Recently, I read a verse in Proverbs 20 I don’t ever remember reading before, but it struck me in a profound way. Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right. Proverbs 20:11. 

Wow. How deep and extraordinary are these words! If the Bible says a child knows what is pure and right, how much more should we as adults know? But the sad truth of the matter is more times than not, adults could glean from children’s innocence, honesty, and virtue. All you need to do is turn on the TV to the news, and you’ll see so many adults who don’t know the meaning of pure and right anymore. What happened to men and women striving for goodness? When did adults lose their raw sincerity? Who told men and women it was okay to let their principles and forthrightness fall to the wayside?

The Bible says to train up a child in the way that he should go and when he is old he won’t depart from it. But if adults continue to lose their integrity, how will our children know what is pure? How will they know what is right?

We NEED to do better.

We MUST do better.

Thankfully, I saw this verse in action this past Sunday afternoon through a little girl named Madelyn. The Sunday morning service kicked off my church’s homecoming revival, and after homecoming dinner, we had our annual songfest. For the past several years, a local Southern gospel group, The Lore Family, sings at this event. Right before they began, I noticed Madelyn sitting by Sandy Lore on the stage. My first thought was that when they began, Madelyn would probably go back to sit with her parents, but to my surprise, when the Lores got up to sing, she came with them. They announced she would be singing her favorite song with them, “I Lived to Tell About It.”

I think everyone in the congregation held their breath, hoping she would not become scared, no one more than her mother Ashley. “I was nervous because being three years old, I wasn’t sure what she was going to do when she got up there, but she showed no fear of standing in front of everyone. As soon as that little hand went up, my heart completely melted, and the tears started flowing.”

And when Madelyn raised her little hand up in the air, singing her heart out, that hand never came down until the end of the song. After the songfest, Ashley and her husband Cameron asked their daughter why she raised her hand. This was the precious girl’s response: “I was praising the Lord because He is good to us.”

Madelyn knew what was right. She knew what was pure. Every person who witnessed her singing that afternoon knew it too. But the reason she knew was the result of the training she’s received from her parents, her family, and her church family. Children act by example, and she has witnessed goodness, sincerity, principles, and forthrightness.

We NEED to do better.

We MUST do better, or children like Madelyn will cease to know what it means to be pure and right. I for one will use this verse as a reminder to be the best example of what pure and right is so the children I know will grow up into adults who know God created them to be MORE.

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