Bea Sprouse honored as Champion of Character for "Discretion."
The character trait of discretion; “Recognizing and avoiding words, actions and attitudes that could bring undesirable consequences,” finds its foundation in both Scripture and even in Greek philosophy. Socrates asks, “Is it true, good, useful?” Scripture directs, “ … whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable -- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8 / NIV)
“We will sometimes ask a student, ‘Did you Philippians 4:8 that?’” says Bea Sprouse, because she knows that, “So many times we are tempted to repeat things that have no positive purpose.” Bea Sprouse is the administrator of Edmond Christian Academy (ECA), a private Christian school extension ministry of the Edmond Christian Center; a call that both Bea, and her husband Ken, felt led to start in 1987, leaving their jobs of 18 years as professors at Oklahoma State University. “God called us to begin ECA with the vision to provide a Christian education environment,” says Sprouse.
It was this ministry that volunteer classroom teacher Gloria Baumann began to see discretion at work, and why she decided to nominate Bea Sprouse as a Champion of Character for the character trait of discretion. “At the beginning of each new school year Bea emphasizes the power of the tongue to be used to encourage or to do harm and encourages her staff and students to use discretion when speaking,” wrote Baumann. “(Bea) models discretion in the way she keeps her conversations from going awry. Even when evaluating a student during a conference she keeps the conversation uplifting and positive, believing the best of the student. When a conversation with others appears to be heading in the wrong direction, Bea changes the subject or directs her attention elsewhere and gracefully ends the conversation.”
“I can't really say any person directed me to discretion,” admits Sprouse, “but rather the Holy Spirit as I study the Bible. As I have studied the Word of God over the years, I see more clearly, daily, how important our words are. Life and death are in the power of the tongue. Love never fails and a soft answer turns away wrath.”
“Bea’s example encourages students and others to avoid unhealthy conversations and to consider their words before blurting out something they may regret,” says Baumann. “Bea earns the trust of students and her friends because they know she will not gossip or betray them when they are not around. Bea’s discretion protects her and others from the adverse consequences of ill-advised words. “I am challenged often with delicate information about other people,” says Sprouse. “I try to treat them as I would want them to treat me.....another Bible principle.”
On behalf of the City of Edmond and the Character Council of Edmond, Bea Sprouse was honored before the City Council as a Champion of Character for exemplifying the character trait of discretion.
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