Aug 1, 2013

Spanking the Neighbor Kid

“You need to go home now Tom”. It was ninth grade and I was sitting in a neighbor’s house; the home of my best friend. It was his dad who gave me the directive. Standing next to my best friend’s dad were two police officers. I figured that I best leave before things escalated. My friend had just confessed to a crime.

My friend and I had been outside throwing snowballs at the passing cars when he got the bright idea to put rocks inside of the snowballs. I guess that he hadn’t quite calculated that that adding a rock had the potential of going through glass when he hurled it at the school bus. For this we were in trouble.

And, for some reason, the police didn’t seem to believe us when we said it wasn’t us and proceeded to give our eyewitness account of two boys fleeing the scene who, amazingly, looked almost exactly like us (except for the details we changed to throw them off). They responded to our story by offering to give us a polygraph to confirm our story and gave us some time alone to get our stories straight.

My friend thought it was best to confess when I told him that although we may have been good at lying, in this case the lie-detector machine would seal our fate. So he confessed and I was told to go home. He was punished, I was not.

Discipline can be confusing; especially when there is inconsistency with who gets it and what is given out. One seems to be the focus, while another seems to get off with no discipline. My neighbor knew that because I wasn’t his son, he couldn’t “spank” me.

When we think of discipline, we think of training to act in accordance with rules. We also think of punishment inflicted by way of correction and training. Often times discipline is seen as angry and violent and devoid of love.

And yet the Bible tells us that it is out of love that we are disciplined; in fact it proves that we have a Father: 
“My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor detest His correction; for whom the Lord loves He corrects, Just as a father the son in whom he delights.” (Proverbs 3:11-12)


In other words, "God doesn't spank the neighbor's kids, just those who are His own children":

 “… And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: “My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; For whom the Lord loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.” If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. 11 Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” (“Hebrews 12:5-11)

The Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 5:20 that “where sin abounded, grace abounded much more”. He is simply giving those who are not His children a chance to be moved by His grace and to turn to Him, confess their sins, and allow Him to be their Heavenly Father.

So, when you see people in this world seeming getting away with something when you get disciplined for things far less; don’t get upset. God, as a good Father, He doesn’t spank the neighbor’s kids; He only disciples those who are His own kids.
And that is a good thing!

"Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved."



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