“Smite a scorner and the simple will beware” (Proverbs 19:25)
The titles of this article needs an answer for a person to get by in this life. I had a (4th) fourth – (5th) fifth grade teacher. Her name was Mrs. Tschirgi (sure -gee). This woman scared me so much that I would get stomach cramps before her math class. This teacher was very old to a young boy. She, in fact, taught my older brother, who is (14) fourteen years older than me. So she was up in age by the time I got to her. She was a tiny, tiny lady with very short gray hair and glasses. She loved horses…she was a tough old bird, if you will. She was the kind of teacher that would put (5) five math problems on the board and have the class line up single file into (5) five lines. Each student or victim would take their turn at the board. We would not be allowed to sit down until we got the problem right. She would stand next to me and ask me questions, leading me to the answer. She would use the chalk to hit the black board while drawing the answers out of me. The rest of the kids in my single filed line would also roll their eyes and make noises, it was awful.
By my description you would think this woman would be a mean teacher and that i must have despised her. If you thought this you couldn’t be more wrong. I fell in love with this wonderful teacher that would do anything to prepare me for life. As I grew older and I, of course moved up to the higher grades. I never forgot this beloved woman. Each year, while I was still in that school, I would bring her a rose and tell her, thank you and that I loved her. Years later, I asked a fine woman to be my bride. As we were filling out invitations there was one person that I wanted to be present. It was Mrs. Tschirgi. I had to hunt her down and I did. She was sent an invitation and I only hoped that she could attend. With all that was going on that wedding day, she was one of the thoughts that took a very high priority. I can’t tell you the rush of emotion that went through me when that mean old gray headed woman walked in the door. Her daughter brought her and told me later on that being remembered and invited meant so very much to her mother, my teacher. I write this with tears in my eyes even today, and I am almost her age when I first met her. This mean old, wonderful woman meant and still means so very much to me. I’m still terrible at math but I still love the thought of it and the science. It is one of the purest things on earth.
I said all that to make this point -Sometimes goodness has to be mean or perceived as mean. One could look in Scripture and see God doing things that caused great pain, but these things were done for the betterment of His subject. The children of Israel were time and time again taken into captivity by heathen nations. This was perceived as bad but it was good in disguise. In the closing chapter of Genesis we find Joseph telling his brothers, “What you meant for evil, God meant for good.” In the scriptures we read that God hurts so that he may heal. If you were to study the shepherds care of the sheep, you would learn that there are times he has to break the leg of a habitual wanderer. This is painful to be sure. However, this is the extreme means that the shepherd is willing to go to in order to teach the sheep and to keep it safe. The shepherds rod was a source of comfort for the sheep. The rod was used to discipline the sheep, but it brought comfort.
There are times that a church must institute discipline upon a member, if the church is to be faithful to God and His Word. Unfortunately, many if not most, churches shy away from this and therefore, they are unfaithful to God. I know a pastor that has had to use church discipline and it was for the best. Of course the pastor dislikes that part of his calling but it is part of his calling nonetheless.
We wrote in our last article about chastening children. We made the point that a parent that does not chasten a child is guilty of child abuse, child neglect, and child endangerment, not to mention the parent is suggesting that they no better than God does. Therefore, a parent who wants to be seen as “nice and good” in the eyes of their abused child is in truth bad and mean. The parent that takes their parenting and their children seriously, will chasten the child(ren). They may be seen as mean and hurtful if the child is very young, but the truth is, the mean parent is the good parent.
Think back to the Garden. (s)atan came as a friend with nice and smooth words. (s)atan, with these nice and smooth words, killed each and everyone of us. By these nice words, death became the wage of sin and sin became our ever-present despicable companion. Sin lays at our feet. Sin corrupts our thoughts and actions. Sin causes loved ones to die. Sin is the cause of all pain and torment that we suffer. Sin is the cause of all disease. Sin is the reason women feel pain during child birth.
Sin usually comes to us in the disguise of nice and friendliness. Sin comes in many forms and they are all attractive. Sin is fun and it feels pleasant. Sin comes in the form of good times, in the form of pretty women and handsome men. Sin comes in liquid form and powder form. Sin can come in the form of a laptop computer or in the form of books.
Sin is exceedingly sinful. Sin is a killer, but it kills with a nice smile. Sin brings birth defects and challenges to the world. Sin breaks up families, sin is a corrupter of all things good.
In closing, let me summarize. Nice can = bad; and Mean can = good.
Godspeed to all of you. And please forgive any and all grammar and punctuation mistakes. For I am an unlearned and ignorant fisher of men.