Wednesday, December 16, 2009

When I Was A Child

When I Was A Child….

1 Corinthians 13:11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

Everyone has a “when I was a child” story, especially when they reminisce of discipline and respect towards parents and adults. When we were younger, we got immediate consequences for our ill actions. Whether it was a spank, a scold, or mouth cleansing for dirty words, we were immediately castigated for inappropriate behavior. As we got older the punishments were further apart; partly because we learned from previous actions and consequences which behaviors to avoid and how to conduct ourselves in a better manner.

The recent Tiger Woods scandal was a shocker for some. Tiger was considered and upstanding all around “good guy” and great sportsman. His “personal” one on one interviews all echoed the same story, a great athlete and family man. So when the scandal was uncovered and the strange array of women came out of the woodworks, it was a bombshell and insult to the “good guy” and great sportsman image. Even he was overwhelmed, not necessarily at the actions but at the exposure. The attention made it obvious that the behavior was wrong, but at the moments he participated in the actions there was no sense of guilt or move to correct the behavior. Why? Because there was no immediate consequence for his actions. So over time no repercussion gave the illusion that there is no harm or wrong being done.

How many people fall into this trap? Since you are no longer immediately chastised for wrongdoing it assumed, “no harm, no foul”. Look at the world of business, the banking and real estate industry for example. When some of those CEOs were mere brokers and tellers, they had to follow the rules or suffer the consequences. A teller comes up short on their drawer they will be terminated and could suffer imprisonment depending on the severity of the loss. As those tellers climb up the corporate ladder and made it to the executive chair, they laxed in their practices of integrity because there are fewer arms to invoke consequences. The end result? A Nation’s economic system severely abated and no one is imprisoned, or even brought to a public trial to explain their actions or omission.

The purpose of allowing a person, business, or CEO the ability to act freely with fewer consequences is not to allow him/her/it to do more unjust behavior. The hope is that we put away childish things (behavior that requires governing and immediate chastisement) and become mature. Understanding that no one should have to say “Tiger, don’t cheat on your wife”; “Business don’t lie about your profits” ; “Mortgage Broker don’t lie about their income”; “Bank CEO don’t get a raise when you just fired 2,000 employees”; “Preacher don’t steal”; “Hey you, stop sleeping with little girls!”. I mean really do we have to?

Let’s not force a hand that begins immediate consequences for doing the wrong thing. Mature and do the right thing, at the right time, for the right reason.

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