Tuesday, April 12, 2016
Bail To The Thief
On their test last week, my high school students had the following discussion question: Write a sequel to the Parable of the Prodigal Son. One thing I mentioned before to my classes is there have been many times I KNOW I deserve a stiff punishment, just like the Prodigal did. He and the older brother would have been in agreement on that point. I am not sure they comprehend that sentiment at this point in their lives. The following speaks of a man's guilt and borrows from the Prodigal Son. It ran on September 26, 2006.
In teaching, you deal with consequences on a daily basis. Our first six weeks at Westbury Christian School ended Friday and report cards will be sent electronically tomorrow. This time of year, prayer requests scribbled on quizzes increase and take on more urgency. Even with modern computer grade systems that allow parents to stay current with their child's progress, the six week grade has a finality to it, even though it is only 1/7th of a semester score. Over the years, I have noticed a phenomenon in my classes. Strong students tend to underestimate their grades and weaker students overestimate theirs. I would guess that by this weekend, some of my students will be grounded or restricted in their freedoms. On the other hand, some will be rewarded with either additional liberties or that great motivator, CASH. When I ask which is more effective as a spur for their scholastic performance, some say rewards and some say punishment. Some young people are completely self-motivated while many have to be pushed or pulled. The wiring, even among siblings, is amazingly diverse. I think most kids, deep down, get what they think they deserve.
There was a fascinating case recently in Arkansas. Cedric Criswell is accused of stealing from his mother. The thirty-four year old took his mother's car and checkbook without permission. When the judge set bail at $30,000, Criswell played the guilt card and claimed it should be higher. After all, he burglarized his own mother! The judge concurred and upped the bond by twenty thousand to fifty thousand dollars. That is one guilty son! (The only other case I recall remotely similar happened last year in Oklahoma. An armed robber, in a plea bargain, was sentenced to thirty years in prison. He asked the judge, who had to be floored, to tack three years on the term so he could honor Larry Bird's number 33 Boston Celtics jersey! The court was happy to oblige such a reasonable request!) I wonder how Cedric Criswell's mother felt when she heard her son's bizarre plea. Do you think she was angry? Do you think she turned her back on him in the courtroom? My guess is that even though she knows he is guilty and needs punishment, she loves him as only a mother can. Remember when the Prodigal Son came home and told the father he wanted a harsh sentence, to give up his birth right as a son? How did the father, who represents God, respond? He rejected the stern consequence and forgave his youngest boy on the spot. I would expect no less of Mrs. Criswell. Let me polish the crystal ball and make a prediction: Cedric will be home for Christmas.
Applicable quote of the day:
"A mother loves her children even when they least deserved to be loved."
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted by Steve Hawley at 8:39 PM