#233 Finding God in the Mysteries of every day
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Proverbs 29: 15A rod and a reprimand impart wisdom,
but a child left undisciplined disgraces its mother.
16 When the wicked thrive, so does sin, but the righteous will see their downfall.
This is a hard illustration to look at. It is evocative of some very disturbing imagery that frankly we, as a culture would do well to forget. We consider ourselves to live in an enlightened, post-modern world where such extreme measures are unnecessary and cruel. However, there is a reality to consider. Look perhaps no farther than you own family, and see children whose attitudes of entitlement, superiority and independence rip them from any sense of accountability to family, community, or to God. Sadly, we are the ones who have allowed our schools, our Sunday schools, and our social attitudes to shun our responsibilities as adults in favor of a laissez faire approach allowing the desires and popularities of the moment dictate our response if any to our children. Always remember, the stages of maturation of a child’s brain. First they think only of themselves even in the crib. Later they think in what is called a concrete fashion, that is knowing the powerful concept of reward and punishment. After that comes abstraction, that is the ability to apply a “why or why not” sort of reasoning drawing on experience and environment to form their behaviors.
We must acknowledge that we have raised a generation of “lost boys, and girls” And know that Peter Pan is not coming to save them. Only Jesus our Christ can save them, but first we have to capture their attention. For me, growing up, the possibility of punishment was often enough to make me re-think some of the things I dreamed up. Believe me, this is not a bad thing.