by Harriett V. Bennett
A wise child accepts a parent’s discipline; a mocker refuses to listen to correction.
Proverbs 13:1 (NLT)
As Pamela Wright read this scripture in Sunday School, she couldn’t help but smile, remembering how, in her youth, she misunderstood this scripture because she thought, back then, her older brother and sister must have been the “wisest” people she knew. It seemed like they were always “accepting discipline” from their mother and father. That was until she actually realized that they didn’t have much choice in the matter. If one did something, the other one was close by. They were thick as thieves, like two peas in a pod, like night and, well, night. Pamela grew up in a loving home, the middle child in a family of seven siblings. It was an interesting position to be in. She was in-between two groups of attention grabbers: there were the older kids who were taking chances occasionally doing the wrong thing and the younger kids, the little cutie pies who could do no wrong. And there she was in the middle.
Now let me get back to my opening statement. Pamela saw her older siblings do right some of the time, but, far too often, she learned they tested their limits with behavior that was definitely “wrong” by the Wright family’s rules of conduct — often with painful consequences. While some of their escapades seemed like they could’ve been fun, where was Pamela you might ask? One thing kept Pamela from even considering joining in —she didn’t like the pain often associated with that kind of discipline. At least not the punishment the two received from her mom or dad. She wondered why it was so hard for them to put into practice two basic commands/demands drilled into them with every punishment: “DON’T” and “STOP!” Pamela heard it. Every time. And pretty much it stuck. She decided she’d have to go another route and come up with her own ideas to express herself, even push the envelope . . . when the time came. Pamela prayed (as she was sure others did) that her siblings would grow out of that particular mischievous phase, “mocking” their parents by seemingly ignoring the rules of acceptable family conduct. Eventually her prayers were answered. Her siblings turned out just fine.
How often do we push and/or ignore the “rules of conduct” from our Heavenly Father. The pages of the Bible in whichever translation you read are lined with what a loving Father wants us to do . . . and not to do. We need a teachable spirit— at any age.
A Bible Commentary: A wise child will take advantage of the knowledge his/her parents have already accumulated and will accept instruction. If you desire to maximize your purpose and potential in life, you must maintain a teachable spirit. If you ever get to the point where you refuse to learn from your earthly parents or your Heavenly Father, you will not be fit for the Kingdom. God rejects the proud, but He gives grace to the humble (1 Peter 5:5). So be thankful for what you know, but know that you don’t know it all!