Elsie and I watched the final presidential debate last night. It was interesting and informative. The candidates spoke more about their goals and policies than the previous debate which included a lot of name-calling. What I took away from last night’s debate is that words are cheap. As the old saying goes, “Actions speak louder than words.” Candidates can promise anything to get elected but, if elected, which of their promises will they keep and put into practice. Since both candidates for the presidency have served in public office in the past, it is fair to look at their record of accomplishments. What have they done with the power and position they have held? So, my advice is to listen to what they say but more importantly vote on what they have done. As King Solomon wrote in Proverbs 20:6, “Many a man proclaims his own loyalty but who can find a trustworthy man?” In other words, talk is cheap. Actions speak louder than words.
For parents, don’t threaten your children with discipline if you won’t consistently follow through and do it. If all your children hear are angry threats but with no follow through, they will learn to dismiss what you say. Once again Solomon speaks to the issue when he writes, “A slave will not be instructed by words alone; though he understands there will be no response” (Proverbs 29:19). With this slave is it a question of cognitive impairment? Does he not understand what is being told him? No. He understands quite well. Is it because the master is unclear in his instruction? No, there is no question that the slave understands what his master is commanding. So then, why doesn’t he obey? Why is there no response? Answer. He does not want to respond. He is a rebel at heart who hears his master’s command but chooses to ignore it. What must the master do to bring about obedience in this slave? Action. He must bring consequences to bear for disobedience. Perhaps the slave will be physically punished. Perhaps the master will demote him to a lesser position. Whatever the punishment, the slave will not change unless there are actions to back up the words. Actions speak louder than words.
Parents must be prepared to discipline disobedience in their children. That disobedience may take the form of active or passive defiance. Either way, such defiance must be met with discipline. Discipline should “fit the crime.” It may involve verbal reproof, restriction of privileges, isolation for a period of time, or corporal chastisement. The goal of all discipline is not to vent the parent’s anger. The goal is to correct the child, change the behavior and reach the heart of the child. Disciplining children is daunting. It is hard to do. We love our children but we aren’t loving them if we don’t consistently discipline them.
Finally, as we approach election day, you will hear many last minute ads from the candidates. Bear in mind that they want your vote so they can be elected. They will say a great many things about themselves and their opponents. Remember actions speak louder than words. Look at their track records before going to the polls and voting.
Words without action = broken promises,