Proverbs 20:9-11

9 Who can say, “I have kept my heart pure;

   I am clean and without sin”?

10 Differing weights and differing measures—

   the Lord detests them both.

11 Even small children are known by their actions,

   so is their conduct really pure and upright?

 

 There are plenty of good people in the world, but not one of us is perfect. We have all strayed in our own ways, unable to escape the human condition of sin and death. In fact, most of us are more deeply flawed than we would like to admit. We may be able to hide it from others, but we cannot hide it from ourselves. Yet this is a blessing in disguise, as the more you admit your flaws the more you will cling to the Lord. Try as we might, we will never conquer sin and death. But “he has done it!

 “Differing weights and differing measures— the Lord detests them both.” How can you accurately weigh something if the scale is always changing? Perhaps the most volatile scale is that of human opinion. There are beliefs our grandparents had that embarrass us, just as some of ours would probably embarrass them. But who is right? What is to keep our grandchildren from looking back at us as fools? But there is one measure which is as relevant today as it was yesterday, and thousands of years before that. Don’t worry about the voice of human opinion, which endlessly contradicts itself. Listen instead to the word of the Lord, the only accurate scale we have.

 “Even small children are known by their actions, so is their conduct really pure and upright?” Children are a blessing, but they are also a responsibility. They are adorable, but they are also flawed. Nobody has to teach them bad behavior, they figure it out all by themselves. The best we can do is to teach them to fight their own nature, to be kind when they want to be mean and to be polite when they want to be rude. If we fail at this, what hope is there for the next generation?

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