Devotion for the Week of May 24, 2015
CORRECTION VERSUS PUNISHMENT
1 Peter 3:9 Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.
When correcting, restoration is our ultimate goal whether we are dealing with students, a fellow teacher, a parent or our own children. Punishment just for the sake of punishment becomes vengeance. Teachers must respond to students with "purpose" rather than "anger".
Loving correction often includes consequences, but the ultimate goal is not the punishment but rather the corrected attitude and behavior. A leader's wrong attitude in the process of correction may stop the outward offense but will embitter the child inwardly and reinforce his determination to be independent of our leadership. Matthew 15:19 tells us that a man's thoughts rule his actions. In major offenses or continually repeated disobedience, students can best be corrected by including a time-out period with individual instruction and introspection to bring new understanding and insight into the motivation behind his misbehavior. If this is done with love and true concern for the child's future--not just punishment--leaders will often see a heart change and growth in maturity.
The student's offense was not against you, personally; a student's misbehavior is against the position you hold. It is not until you, the person, offend him that it becomes a personal issue. The student will not know the difference; but you, the teacher, must understand this to keep your emotions out of the conflict.
Do not repay evil for evil, but rather bless students with your concern for their future. Help them to see how misbehavior affects their lives. A future job may be lost, a marriage may break up, or an arrest may happen if the behavior continues into adulthood. Love the child by leading him/her to correct behavior and self-discipline.
Dear God, Help me to be mature enough to love the unlovely child, to see past his immaturity and rebellion into his future. Help me to correct him, in love, for his future; I want to bless and not curse.
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