FOOLISHNESS IS BOUND UP IN THE CHILD’S HEART
Proverbs 22:15 Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him.
The tenth grade boy raised his hand during study hall. I quietly walked to his study center and asked if I could help him. “The light bulb isn’t working. Can I go get another one from the janitor?” he asked.
I hesitated for a moment and then I told him that there was enough light in the room without the lamp directly over his study center. After I walked away, I saw him tighten the bulb and turn his light back on. He was playing games and trying to get out of class for awhile. At first, this really made me angry. I knew he would gloat over tricking me if I had let him leave the classroom.
How do we keep from getting angry when kids play tricks on us? Well, the above Scripture helped me to get things into perspective. Foolishness is a natural part of being a child—especially some children. The reason we discipline them is to “drive it far from him.” We should not allow ourselves to get angry over their foolishness, but rather we should see it as an opportunity to train and discipline it out of them.
This student’s statement to the teacher was a lie. His game actually led him into sin. Children need to understand that foolishness often leads to sin. If they respect God’s Word and desire to do right, they will hear biblical instruction and change their ways. This student earned a consequence for his deceit and lie--not foolishness.
By the way, a sense of humor helps to overcome your offense. Don’t ever forget what it was like to be a kid. Much of the time kids don’t think all the way through their foolishness. However, for some students this same response could be a form of mockery rather than simple foolishness. (Mockers seek to make the leader look foolish--Proverbs 9:8.) The same consequence would be appropriate whether it was foolishness or mockery.
DEAR GOD, HELP ME TO BE LEVEL HEADED RATHER THAN HOT TEMPERED WHEN IT COMES TO KIDS’ FOOLISHNESS. HELP ME TO SEE THESE SITUATIONS FROM YOUR PERSPECTIVE. THEIR FOLLY IS AN OPPORTUNITY FOR TRAINING. GIVE ME THE GRACE TO DISCIPLINE RATHER THAN REACT PERSONALLY IN ANGER.
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Copyright © 2002-2013 by Elderine Wyrick
Polishing the Apple
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Wyrick, Elderine (2002-2013). "Article/Devotion Title" in Polishing the Apple, www.teacherdevotion.com.
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