Sunday, 20 May 2012

Mistakes at home and school...

It is safe to say that we all make mistakes. It is also true that we learn from the mistakes we make. The mistakes we made as children can actually be a benefit to us if we are able to learn from them.  In childhood the consequences are usually much more minor than they are in adulthood. The Bible says that we all fall in many ways. James 3:2 -For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.
I am thinking about a few specific instances in my growing up years where I did wrong and I think that through these mistakes I learned that it is better to do right from the start.
The first situation happened while I was quite young, probably around seven years old. As I have mentioned in some of my earlier posts, I have five sisters. This one particular sunny day my mom and older sisters were doing laundry. I had been in the house with them and it seemed that one of my sisters was having a particularly hard day and was having a hard time being cheerful and was downright grumpy. So I went outside to play. I noticed my other sister at the old well, hand pumping water to take to the house. I decided to giver her a fair warning about my other sister's grumpy disposition so I called out to her "beware". My mom overheard me and asked me " Did you say that to her because of your other sister? - because if you did, I am going to give you a spanking". Mom knew it!  I did say that as a warning to my sister but I sure did not want a spanking so I lied.   I said " No, that is not why called out the warning to....beware".  I got away with my lie  that day and I did not get the spanking I deserved and she asked no further questions. The only problem was that I felt very very guilty. We had been taught that we should not lie and I had lied on purpose in an instant to avoid pain. I didn't do anything about it for a long while, just kept it inside me and the guilt rose up inside every time I thought about it. I finally confessed to my Mom several years later. She laughed about it when I told her but to this day I remember it so well. I learned that lying and being untruthful makes me miserable. I learned that I need to face up to my wrong actions.

The second incident involved cheating on a school test. in grade 8. I usually studied hard, tried to be honest and kind and did pretty reasonable on my assignments and tests.  I can still see where I was sitting in the classroom writing the test. As I remember the teacher was Mr Revel who gave the class the test. One question puzzled me and I did not know the anwer. I looked over to the student's paper on the desk across the isle and I saw the answer that student had chosen. I marked down the same answer and felt confident that I had made the right choice. A few days later, the teacher had marked the tests and returned them to the class. To my disappointment, the question that I had cheated on was marked wrong.  From then on I knew that rather than looking over at my neighbor's papers, I would just take an honest guess if I did not know the answer on a test. Cheating did not help me at all. I believe it was to my benefit that I did not get the right answer there and I got it wrong as I deserved.

The last situation I am thinking about also happened in school in grade 9. It was in Mr. Switzer's class. Mr Switzer assigned work to the class and with orders that we were all to stay in our desks till he returned as he needed to step out for just a couple of minutes. As you may know from some of my earlier posts, I was very good friends with a girl named Nettie. So when Mr Switzer left the room I got out of my desk and went over to Nettie's  desk to help her with a few questions. I was not the only student who disobeyed but when Mr Switzer walked in and saw us out of our desks he was understandably upset. He said " Everyone of you who was out of your desk has detention at noon today. You know who you are and I know who you are so I will see you at noon." I knew that I was guilty and I had been caught. So when noon time came, I went for detention. When he saw me walk in he said to me "you were not out of your desk, you do not have detention". This was confusing for me but what could I say?  I was willing to do my time but I was shown grace and let go inspite of my mistakes. I learned that it is better for me if I own up to my mistakes and am willing to face the consequences than to hide from it.  Proverbs 28:13 - He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy

The same is true in our relationship with God.  God wants us to come to Him and confess our sins to Him and repent of them and He will forgive us and cleanse us.     The Bible says in 1 John 1:9 -
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

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