The Proof Is In The Pudding

Today we’re continuing “Child-Training: Advice from an Older Woman, (on Timely Tips on Tuesday).  This is Part 3 in the Series entitled “Ten Things” Most Important in Child-Training.

As I’ve shared these “Ten Things” I would tell a young mom who wants to raise Godly children, I can’t help but think that there are some of you out there who’ve been reading, who are ready to write me off by this time.  That’s fine. It’s your right.  But to you, I ask:

When you are making a turkey dinner for the first time, and you need advice, who do you go to?  Do  you ask a newlywed, or another friend who’s cooking her first turkey herself, for advice?

Or do you go to your mother, aunt, grandma, or other seasoned professional, who’s successfully served up turkey dinners for years?

Another example:  When you buy something on Etsy, will you buy something still in the making, and the first of its kind, or do you want to see an example of the finished product, and know that it is what you want and that it’ll last? Of course, if you’re a savvy shopper, you want to see the end result, before you buy.

There’s an old saying, “The proof is in the pudding.”  This is actually a mangled form of the original phrase, which was “the proof of the pudding is in the eating.” A dish may have been made from a good recipe with fresh ingredients and look delicious, but you can really only judge it by putting it in your mouth. The actual taste is the only true criterion of success.

Proof has come to mean “conclusive evidence.” (citing http://www.word-detective.com/2008/12/03/the-proof-is-in-the-pudding/–See note below)

Another way we describe “conclusive evidence” or “proof” is when we refer to “fruit” in a person’s life.  We say that we’ll judge something or someone by their fruit.  Jesus spoke to his disciples and told them to look at a person’s fruit before listening to what they have to say, or following them.

Matthew 7:16-27:
Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

Good fruit was (and is) the sign of true Christianity. Therefore, it was a serious issue, and led to this serious discussion.  Jesus warned that not everyone who calls themselves a Christian really knows Him.  Only those who obey God’s Word, and do His works–not their own, show by their fruit that they know Christ. And their fruit will last and the “house” of their Christian lives and fruit will remain standing through the storms of life.

As Jesus’ words relate to child-training, this means we can’t tell whether a person’s fruit is good when they still have little children, or when they’re still in the throes of raising their family. We have to look at those who have grownup children.  It is by God’s grace that there is any fruit at all, much less good fruit, but please look at the fruit, before you listen to me, or anyone else.  May God receive all the glory.
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Note:  “The proof of the pudding is in the eating” is a very old phrase, dating back to at least 1605, and “proof” in the adage is an antiquated use of the word in the sense of “test” (also found in “printer’s proof,” a preliminary “test” copy of a book printed to check for errors, etc., before commencing a large print run).

Just how and why “the proof of the pudding is in the eating” was shortened to the semi-nonsensical “the proof is in the pudding” remains a mystery, but it’s worth noting that most people now interpret “proof” in the sense of “conclusive evidence.”

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