Are you guilty?
As teenagers we all pushed the envelope of behavior, testing the limits of our ever- increasing independence of self-governability. Parents tend to put a little slack in the apron strings of decision- making, allowing their child student to venture into the realm of deciding for themselves what is right or wrong and the practice of saying “no,” all on their own. It’s a graduation of total inconsistency today as some parents give their children too much slack too early in life, while some refuse to give any slack at all, and still others just cut the strings altogether insisting “they’ll find their own way.”
It seems parents just don’t have time to help their children grow into adulthood. Behavior of some children is totally out of control. My mother always reminded us to wear clean underwear in case of an accident, I guess in an attempt of protecting us from some sort of embarrassment in the ER. Most people I’ve seen in the ER after an accident were a mess, underwear and all. I don’t know what my mother would do today if she saw one of these teen boys walking down the street with their underwear hanging out for everyone to see. My father simply reminded his children to behave themselves, because wherever we went and whatever we did, we could find ourselves in the presence of someone he knows and word of our misbehavior could follow us home through the grapevine.
The wisdom of grandparents was equally simple, “what goes around, comes around.” I was totally reminded of this with the story about the posting of a clip on YouTube showing the bus monitor being bullied by some teenage boys. The whole thing backfired in disgrace to them and their families. I’m glad to see the system still works. We all made it to adulthood, but unfortunately our prisons are full.
At the end of his shift, the police officer parked his van in front of the police station. His K-9 partner, Bo, was in the back of the van. As the officer was exiting the van, he saw a little boy looking in the back window of the vehicle. “Is that a dog you got back here?” asked the boy. “It sure is,” answered the officer. With a puzzled look on his face, the boy looked at the officer, then again at the dog, and asked, “What did he do?”
After a worship service, a mother with a fidgety 7-year-old explained to the preacher how she finally got her son to sit still and be quiet. About halfway through the sermon, she leaned over and whispered, “If you don’t be quiet, Preacher Carlton is going to lose his place and will have to start his lesson all over again!” It worked.
[Colossians 3:1 - 4:1 and Ephesians 4:17 - 6:18] The 68-year-old bus monitor endured a bullying session of harassment that even two of the boys admitted, after viewing the Internet clip, “I am so sorry for the way I treated you. When I saw the video I was disgusted and could not believe I did that,” and, “If that had happened to someone in my family, like my mother or grandmother, I would be really mad at the people who did that to them.” The bus monitor will not press charges on the boys but stated she does expect to see them punished for what they had done.
I heard a profound question asked the other day, “If you were arrested for being a Christian, would the courts find you guilty with the evidence they collected from your lifestyle?” That certainly sat me back in my chair for a moment. Would my defense convict me of being a Christian? Would I want it to? Is my life really in line with what I believe? Is my behavior in this world that which pleases my Father in heaven? Am I doing all in the name of the Lord?
Thomas W. Bonham is an associate minister with the Floresville Church of Christ. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Find his column on his blog at http://wilsoncountynews.com.
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