I’ve been following the news about a group of students who were suspended for a senior prank they pulled just before finals. Their suspension meant they would not be allowed to participate in commencement exercises or in taking their finals. Of course, their parents were livid, but surprisingly not at the students. Instead, they took legal action against the school!?!
The story is incredibly horrifying to me because the school made the punishment for such a prank known before it occurred, yet the students chose to willfully disobey. They knew the consequences and now their parents want to spare them the punishment. What kind of message are they sending?
I’ve also been reading Deuteronomy this week and I was struck by an interaction Moses had with God in chapter 3. Moses was forbidden to enter the promised land, yet he pleaded with God one more time, “Please, just let me see what other mighty works you’re going to do!” The Lord responded, “Enough from you; do not speak to me of this matter again” (verse 26). Moses had to live with the consequences. The most he was allowed to do was to see the land from a mountain.
I’ve had consequences in my own life that I hated, but in hindsight I recognize the importance of those experiences. For instance, it was very hard to go through getting fired from a position to which I felt called; nevertheless, it was the only way for me to learn that talent isn’t everything. In fact, there are far more important things to ministering effectively than gifting. The pain of loss and the long period of reflection afterwards changed me dramatically.
My prayer is that I would respond to Godly discipline with humility, in order that it might change and grow me in maturity.