A Committee of Correspondence

A Committee of Correspondence

What Goes Around Comes Around: The Punishment Fits The Crime

A good father is a blessing in a child’s life. Fathers love, protect, provide for, encourage, guide, teach, mentor and, yes, discipline, their children. That’s all in their job description along with many other tasks. It’s a hard job, requiring a LOT of time and effort because a LOT depends upon doing it well. It’s not just the child’s life and well-being that depends upon the job the parents do with a child — it’s society’s life and well-being, too.

We, the bloggers making this post, were blessed with good fathers. Really good fathers. Looking back on the lives of these remarkable men we have, at different times, focused on many facets of their individual characters; but, today, it’s this one ability that each of them possessed as fathers that holds our attention: They were REALLY SKILLED at devising a punishment that perfectly fit the crime.

Having been parents ourselves, we have an in-depth understanding of the VALUE OF CONSEQUENCES. There’s really no substitute for consequences in increasing the upward angle of a learning curve. It’s amazing how quickly a child learns not to touch an open flame. Just one successful defiance of a parental “NO!” and the child is instantly convinced that his parent really did know what he was talking about and the child NEVER deliberately does it again. Consequences like burns are hard to forget.

Not everything a parent wants to teach his child to avoid comes with a set of consequences that is acceptable to the parent, though. Death and dismemberment come to mind here. So a parent frequently has to assign a set of consequences to unacceptable actions on the part of his child. As parents, we sometimes found it to be rather tricky to think of exactly the right set of consequences. But our own fathers never seemed to run out of really good ideas.

When one of our fathers went home to be with the Lord, Mike, a boyhood friend we had not seen in some time, attended the funeral. He made a point of coming over to remind us about the time when, as a teenager, he had sneaked off to get drunk and had succeeded far too well. Mike’s father had been with our father when he received the call from the police telling him his son was being taken to the hospital and they weren’t sure if they would be able to save him. Our dad accompanied Mike’s father to the hospital. After an interminable wait, the ER doctor came out to report that they had pumped Mike’s stomach and that Mike was coming around. After rejoicing and thanking the Lord that the boy would be okay despite his stupidity, our dad suggested to Mike’s father that he have the ER staff pump Mike’s stomach again, while he was conscious. The staff agreed to Mike’s dad’s request. So, many years later, Mike stood before us at our father’s funeral with his arm around his own grown son’s shoulders, laughing and shaking his head as he told us that he had never again taken even a sip of alcohol.

Yup! Our fathers were dab hands at coming up with consequences that fit the crime and usually prevented its recurrence. Exhibiting learning curves that looked like flat lines was NOT TOLERATED by our dads.

Disciplining a child is not the fun part of parenting. But discipline IS a necessary part of parenting. When one is blessed with a new life to guide into adulthood, one is actually given a tiny tyrant. It’s quite true that those tiny tyrants come with many gifts and abilities all bundled up in wonderful promises of possibilities. But to get to the promised possibilities, a parent must first deal with the tiny tyrant.

At first, of course, the tiny tyrant is simply making the point that he NEEDS to be fed, changed, cuddled and engaged in exploration of the world he has just entered. His needs MUST be attended to and he MUST be protected because he has absolutely no common sense. The child is really not aware of anything or anyone except as an extension of himself. In the infant’s world, EVERYTHING TRULY IS ABOUT HIM. For a more-or-less adult parent, meeting those needs is simple. As an aunt once pointed out, “It’s easy to make a baby heart happy, isn’t it?”

The child soon begins to believe that everything he WANTS is also something he NEEDS. And if he needs it, then the world around him MUST meet his NEEDS and NOW WOULD BE GOOD. So parenting becomes finding ways to teach the child to distinguish between WANTS and NEEDS. And when that task is underway, then the task also becomes one of encouraging the child to make choices among his wants that are based on a strong system of values with the result that the child, once grown, will make decisions based on this strong value system and these decisions will result in outcomes that are in his own long-term best interests AND the long-term best interests of the world around him.

The road to adulthood is by no means smooth. The reason is rebellion. Tyrants, tiny and otherwise, do NOT like having their wills crossed. They want what they want when they want it and no one may stand in their way. Ask any tyrant. He will tell you that no one matters except himself. The person who gets between the tyrant and what the tyrant wants becomes the target of the tyrant’s rage. But a good father stands firm. Did we mention that parenting was a long, hard job?

In addition to disciplining his child, a father protects his child. He protects his child from the child’s own immaturity; AND, to whatever extent he can, the father also protects his child from “immaturity” in those around his child and from actions that result from full-blown rebellion in the lives of the people around his child. Good fathers are irreplaceable in the lives of their children and in our society, as well.

God the Father is in the process of doing exactly what every good father does. He is in the process of disciplining His children who stand in need of discipline and of protecting His children from the full-blown rebellion in the lives of those around His children. It is our thesis that our fathers were so good at finding a punishment to fit the crime because they modeled everything they did, in so far as they could, upon what God commanded and modeled. God the Father is Perfect in ALL THAT HE DOES, including in making the punishment fit the crime.

Someone once pointed out to us that the number of Israelis displaced from their homes in Gaza, in 2005, when they were forcibly removed by their government with the full “persuasion” of the US government behind them, was exactly equal to the number of people who were displaced from their homes in New Orleans, also in 2005, when the levees broke due primarily to the incompetence and corruption of their local governmental entities, exacerbated by Katrina’s heavy rains.

The punishment perfectly fit the crime. God was making a point. Sort of a “How does it feel?” and “What goes around comes around” point. Our learning curve, however, is a flat line. So the lessons are continuing.

Israel is not permitted to protect her borders. That is, of course, absolutely outrageous. Even as individuals we understand the value of boundaries. One needs to be able to defend oneself and it’s impossible to do so when the defenses have been over-run. That is the position that Israel is in — her enemies are right next to her and intent on her destruction. And the liberal lunatics are insisting that Israel allow her enemies to over-run the very last of her defenses. If the liberal lunatics would just take a moment away from their insane agenda to look around them, they would notice that their wacko “policies” have insured that the United States, too, has had her borders over-run. Our enemies, both foreign and domestic, are right here. They are armed and ready. Like Israel, we have NO DEFENSIBLE PERIMETER. So when the war that Israel must soon — we really mean SOON — engage in for her very survival breaks out, the United States, too, will be plunged into a fight for her survival. Because there is a God. And what goes around comes around.

Ah, but there’s more. GOD’S WORD ABIDES FOREVER AND IT CANNOT BE BROKEN. As we have mentioned before in this blog, God promised Abraham that God would bless those that bless His Chosen people and curse those that curse His chosen people. God entered into this unconditional covenant with Abraham. And He told all the rest of us that He would break into pieces any who chose to come against that covenant He made with Israel. He is going to be doing exactly that. Our guess is that it will be world-wide because the entire world is coming against Israel. But we know for a fact that this is coming to the United States. When this precipitating event occurs, it will spark civil unrest, riots etc. Law and order will go right out the window even worse than it did in the late 1960s and early 1970s. David Wilkerson has been shown “a thousand fires coming to New York City. It will engulf the whole megaplex, including areas of New Jersey and Connecticut. Major cities all across America will experience riots and blazing fires—such as we saw in Watts, Los Angeles, years ago. There will be riots and fires in cities worldwide. There will be looting—including Times Square, New York City. What we are experiencing now is not a recession, not even a depression. We are under God’s wrath.”

David Wilkerson is absolutely right. The events on our horizon are directly attributable to how we have treated and to how we are treating Israel. God will protect His Chosen People. He will protect His children, too. We love Him and we trust in Him. But He will discipline those of His children who stand in need of discipline. His will is always to show love and mercy to those who call upon Him.

However, as David Wilkerson goes on to point out, for the wicked, for those in rebellion against God, ” ‘God is fashioning a calamity against you and devising a plan against you. Oh, turn back each of you from your evil way, and reform your ways and deeds. But they will say, It’s hopeless! For we are going to follow our own plans, and each of us will act according to the stubbornness of his evil heart.’ (Jeremiah 18:11-12). In Psalm 11:6, David warns, ‘Upon the wicked he will rain snares (coals of fire)…fire…burning wind…will be the portion of their cup.’”

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