The Christian View magazine  
A ministry of Christian journalism...always truth and good news
Shining the Light of Christ
Matthew 5:16

Reflections: Words of Wisdom from Leave it to Beaver
a devotion

Written by Karen Brewer, Publisher
Publisher@TheChristianViewMagazine.com

There is good theology in the classic and timeless television series “Leave it to Beaver,” in which one can find words of wisdom:

It's important to always be truthful:

In scripture are many verses that speak of the importance of always being truthful. (Proverbs 12:22, Proverbs 14:5, and Proverbs 6:16-19 are just a few of many.) "Thou shalt not bear false witness" even made God's 'Top 10 List' (The Ten Commandments). Bearing false witness means claiming that someone did something that they actually did not do, or even claiming that someone did not do something that they actually did do, or claiming that someone said something that they actually did not say, or claiming that someone thinks something that they actually do not think, or claiming that someone is something that they actually are not. Lying in any way is wrong, whether for making the guilty appear innocent or making the innocent appear guilty. 

The television series "Leave it to Beaver" teaches the importance of always being truthful. Here are words of wisdom from June Cleaver to her youngest son, Theodore, nicknamed Beaver: “Even when you think you’re getting away with it, God knows you’re lying, because God knows everything. He sees everything. God is everywhere.” 

Ward Cleaver also shares words of wisdom for his youngest son, Beaver:
“In the first place, it’s always wrong to tell a lie. And, in the second place, you just build up more trouble for yourself by not facing the truth. It really is a lot better to tell the truth. That way, you don’t always have to cover up for yourself. You see, Beav, you tell one lie, and you always have to tell another to cover it up, and then that leads to another, and then another, and, the first thing you know, you’ve told so many lies, you can’t keep track of them.” When Beaver says, “I don’t think I’m smart enough to do all that stuff, anyway,” Ward answers,  “That’s fine, Beaver. I just hope you never think you are smart enough, because nobody is.”


It's important to believe what is true and to not believe what is false (Don't spread or listen to gossip):

Not only is it important to always speak the truth, it is also important to always believe the truth. Scripture contains many verses against talebearing, what today would be called gossip. (Proverbs 16:28 and Proverbs 10:18 are just two of many.) In the words of Ward Cleaver: "Never tell anyone anything you don't want repeated." But not only don't share gossip, don't believe it, either.

In an episode of "Leave it to Beaver", young Beaver asks his father, “How come people sometimes think people are things that they aren’t?” Ward Cleaver answers, “Well, Beaver, sometimes we don’t take time to figure things out for ourselves. We make up our minds on the basis of rumors and first impressions. If they happen to be wrong, then we’re wrong, too.” 


It's important to be kind and to be careful with our words (Don't be like Eddie Haskell):


The Bible speaks many times of being kind toward others and being careful with our words. One verse that comes to mind is Ephesians 4:29: "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers." And Jesus said that everyone will one day give an account for every word spoken (Matthew 12:36-37).

In an episode of "Leave it to Beaver", Ward Cleaver says, "The wrong word can hurt more than a slap."

Eddie Haskell, a friend of Beaver's older brother, Wally, prides himself in his sarcasm and in insulting people, claiming, "I owe my success to the fine art of the insult." We've all no doubt heard spoken hurtful insults much worse than Eddie Haskell's attempt at sarcastic humor, cutting remarks made with a sharp tongue, and for no reason, and we have been disappointed with those who have not had a kind, sweet spirit. Perhaps we should advise: "Be like Ward Cleaver. Don't be like Eddie Haskell."


It's important to do what's right, even if others do wrong:

It's always right to do right, even if others do wrong. When we are disappointed in, and discouraged by, others who do not speak truth or who do not speak or act with kindness, we do not let them change who we are.

Here are words of wisdom from Ward Cleaver: “You can’t go through life doing things wrong and just hoping they’re going to turn out right.”

We continue to always be truthful, even if others may not be. We continue to always be kind, in words and actions, even if others may not be. We continue to always treat others as we would wish to be treated, even if others may not.

As Ward Cleaver tells his son Beaver, “There will always be people who trample on other people in order to get what they want, and sometimes you just can’t do anything about them.”  Beaver asks his father, “You mean you can’t beat people like that, Dad?” Ward answers, “Oh, yeah, sure, you can, Beaver. You can beat them by never becoming like them.”