—MOAugust 15, 1975DFO NO.606
(A prayer and talk from a KC meeting:)
[HomeARC note (9/98): The Charter is the current source of Family policy and rules regarding the discipline of minors.]
1. DO YOU THINK YOU HAD ENOUGH PRAYER? It's not how long you pray or how much you pray, it's how much you believe. Amen‚ have Thy way now‚ Lord, Thy will be done. Lead and guide by Thy Spirit, Lord.
2. WE KNOW NOTHING, WE ARE NOTHING, WE HAVE NOTHING BUT YOU JESUS, and we ask You to have Thy way, in Jesus' name. Bless us, bless especially Rachel this morning who has been sacrificing herself and even her child, Lord, to Thy service. We ask you to help her to get more rest now and her milk to come up that she may nourish the baby as it needs to be nourished. May this be a lesson to us all‚ Lord.
3. WE CANNOT NOURISH OTHERS UNLESS WE OURSELVES ARE REFRESHED AND NOURISHED and can minister unto our babes of the strength which Thou dost supply. So help us to remember that we need rest and we need nourishment and we need refreshing and we need inspiration. We cannot feed them from empty shells‚ Lord, from an empty cupboard, an over-burdened heart, a strained body that has not even enough for itself much less for others.
4. HELP US TO DRINK IN TO OVERFLOWING SO THAT WE CAN OVERFLOW upon others, not to have to try to squeeze out the last drop of our blood and our strength and our time and our spirit to nourish someone else when we haven't enough even ourselves. Help us Lord to be filled to overflowing by Thy Spirit, so that we may have not only enough for ourselves but enough for many others as well.
5. HELP US NEVER TO FORGET THAT THE FIRST PLACE IS FOR YOU‚ LORD. The first place is for You and we must drink of Thee and Thy Spirit if we're going to have enough not only for ourselves but to overflow upon others. So help us to take good care of ourselves, Lord, both physically and spiritually.
6. HELP US TO LET YOU TAKE GOOD CARE OF US‚ LORD, and to give You all the cooperation we can by getting proper rest‚ Lord, and proper exercise and diet. Help us most of all to get the rest, exercise and diet of Thy Word and Thy Spirit and Thy Service, that we may be physically whole and well and strong and well able to serve Thee, and spiritually whole‚ strong and happy in Thy service, Lord.
7. HELP US LORD NOT TO BE SO PRESSURED THAT WE PUT OFF OUR TIME WITH THEE. Help us, even as we went out this morning to bask in Thy sunshine for a little while and breathe deeply the refreshment of Thy wonderful fresh air, to put Thee first each day, spiritually to bask in Thy sunshine, rest in Thy arms‚ drink deeply of Thy Word and inhale of Thy Spirit! Hallelujah!
8. (TONGUES) "HEAR YE THE WORDS OF THY FATHER AND HEAR YE THE WISE COUNSEL I HAVE GIVEN UNTO DAVID." Thank You Lord! Thank You Jesus for Abrahim! Thank You for Thy Spirit, for all Thy ministering spirits‚ all Thy angels and all our fellowlabourers and fellowservants, Lord, who are in the spirit world helping us. We thank You, Jesus, for every ministering spirit. Hallelujah! Thank You Lord! Thank You Jesus for Thy mercy to us.
9. BLESS THOSE WE HAD TO DEAL WITH SO STERNLY, LORD. Help them, Jesus, encourage them. Help them to know that we love them, Lord, that we may restore them as brethren again and gain them again and not lose them, help us Lord.
10. HOW MUCH WE WOULD HAVE LOVED TO HAVE HAD THEM SHARE IN THE GOOD THINGS that You've shared with us. Yet we know, Lord, that perhaps it's best for them spiritually to be alone with Thee, to rest and nestle in Thy arms and partake of Thee. To just have Thee alone to think about and pray about, and to get close to Thee without all the distraction of people and business and so on. So Lord, we ask Thee in Jesus' Name, precious Jesus, help them Lord.
11. HELP THEM TO GET BACK TO THEE, TO THE PLACE OF HUMBLE SERENITY AND COMPLETE SURRENDER in Thy arms, Lord. Help them, Jesus, to humble themselves in Thy mighty hand, then in due time, if it so please Thee‚ Thou shalt highly exalt them. You said, "Humble thyself under the mighty hand of God and in due time He shall highly exalt thee." (1Pet.5:6.) But "he that exalteth himself shall be humbled, but he that abaseth himself shall be exalted." (Lk.14:11.) Hallelujah! Thank You for Thy precious Word, Lord so true, so true‚ Lord!
12. SUCH PRIDE COMES BEFORE A FALL, LORD, help us Lord. Help us Jesus to keep our eyes on You so that we don't stumble or fall, in Jesus' Name, thank You Lord! Help us not to have pride in any way, Lord. Deliver us from that horrible, horrible spirit of pride that the Enemy tries to give to some, Lord‚ in so many little ways.
13. EVEN IF WE'RE SENSITIVE‚ LORD, IT'S A SIGN OF PRIDE, if we're too sensitive and we snap back or we feel hurt. Sensitiveness is born of pride and pride is of the Enemy, Lord‚ and we ask Thee to deliver us from this machination of the Evil One. This is such a temptation to leadership, Lord.
14. SO OFTEN WE ARE TEMPTED TO TRY TO COVER FOR OURSELVES or cover our mistakes, Lord, because we think that our followers must think that we're perfect and we dare not make a mistake. Yet, Lord, we have found that even our mistakes have been a blessing. When we admit and confess our mistakes‚ and explain how we made them and why we made them and warn others how not to make the same mistakes, Lord, it has then been a lesson and a blessing not only to us but we have also shared it with others that it might help them too. So we thank You Jesus!
15. WE THANK YOU EVEN FOR OUR MISTAKES that keep us humble and that show others that we're human and we're no better than they are. If there's a chance for us there's a chance for them; if you can forgive us You can forgive them, Lord.
16. DAVID THY KING WAS SUCH A SHINING EXAMPLE OF A MISERABLE DANDY BAD EXAMPLE and a miserable failure in so many ways, Lord, such a horrible sinner. And yet, Lord, he has been such an encouragement to so many of us for so many years, because we figure if You can forgive him You surely can forgive us.
17. HE DID SO MANY HORRIBLE CRIMES AND YET YOU FORGAVE HIM BECAUSE HE LOVED YOU. He knew he was a sinner and he confessed it and he repented and he really loved You‚ Lord. You were even able to say after all of that that he was a man after Your own heart. Lord Jesus, help us Lord.
18. THANK YOU FOR THAT MERCIFUL EXAMPLE OF DAVID, LORD, SO WE KNOW THAT WE TOO CAN BE FORGIVEN, we too can even be leaders. We can lead our flocks despite our mistakes. We can even make a comeback, Lord, as David did. He came back and was even a greater king than ever before‚ having learned from his errors, and was more sympathetic with the sins and the shortcomings and the errors of others because of his own sins, Lord. He could not be proud, Lord‚ he had to be humble.
19. HUMBLED BY HIS OWN SINFULNESS HE WAS BETTER ABLE TO FORGIVE OTHERS, Lord. Help us to forgive others the way we ourselves want to be forgiven. "Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us." (Lk.11:4.) May we pray that sincerely today, Lord‚ regarding these and all of those who offend and all of those who fail us and those who make mistakes.
20. LORD, HELP US TO FORGIVE. Help us, Lord, forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us, in Jesus' precious name. Help us, Lord, to forgive them. Thank You Jesus! Praise You Lord! Hallelujah Lord! Amen, amen!
21. HELP THESE PRECIOUS LEADERS, LORD, THESE THY SHEPHERDS who are so responsible for Thy sheep. Lord God, keep them humble, keep them close to You‚ Jesus. Help them to know they cannot do it without You. They cannot do the Master's work without the Master's power.
22. LORD GOD HELP THEM TO KNOW THEY CANNOT DO IT WITHOUT YOU, everyone of us, Lord, in Jesus' name. Have Thy way, praise You Lord! Thank You Lord! Amen, amen . I don't know‚ maybe you didn't need that prayer but I guess I did! Amen, thank You Jesus! Thank You Lord!
23. I DON'T THINK YOU CAN EVER REALLY BE A GOOD LEADER, a wise humble leader, until you've pulled some awful boners and made some terrible mistakes and committed a few sins and really blown it a few times yourself. For one thing, you'll never be humble enough unless you do.
24. AS LONG AS YOU'RE PRETTY PERFECT AND YOU HAVEN'T MADE MANY MISTAKES you're going to think you're really something and you're doing pretty good. And then you're much more unmerciful on those who do make mistakes. But don't your mistakes make you a lot more merciful on those who make mistakes?
25. YOU'LL BE MUCH MORE MERCIFUL TO THOSE WHO FOLLOW YOU IF YOU YOURSELF REALISE HOW MUCH YOU NEED MERCY! I tell you‚ when you need a lot of forgiveness and you need a lot of mercy it sure helps you to extend it to others, amen? Really sometimes it's almost hard on me to be hard on others, as Maria knows.
26. SOMETIMES I'M ALMOST TOO QUICK TO FORGIVE, too easy on people. I feel so sorry for them because I know how I have felt in the same situation and how bad I would feel if I were in that situation.
26A. I HAVE TOLD YOU THE STORY OF AMUNDSEN, the man who discovered the [South] Pole, or was trying to discover it, the famous [Norwegian] explorer. That was before the days of airplanes and so they had to go over the ice. They were short of supplies, some of them were frostbitten and they were having all kinds of troubles with storms and so on, but he was so near the goal.
27.THE OFFICIALS WERE PRACTICALLY INSISTING THAT THEY COME IN AND PICK THEM UP and rescue them. But he begged them in his reply: "Please don't rescue me prematurely! Please don't rescue me prematurely!" That's a hard request to respond to sometimes because sometimes we're prone to almost be too merciful and try to rush in.
28. WE FEEL SORRY FOR A CHILD OR BABE OR WHOEVER IT MAY BE BECAUSE THEY SEEM TO HURT SO BAD and they yell so loud and you're tempted to stop the spanking a little prematurely before they've really learned their lesson. But don't rescue them prematurely, until you're sure the job is done. Now this may sound cruel to you, but it's the truth and I've had this experience with my own children when they were small.
29. WHEN IT BECOMES NECESSARY TO FINALLY ENFORCE THE LAW THAT YOU'VE GIVEN, if after many warnings and many counsellings and they go ahead and do it stubbornly, rebelliously, willfully anyway, you finally have to lower the boom and apply the rod, as God's Word says. It's very very Scriptural, and if you don't do it you're going to be sorry.
30. YOU CANNOT THREATEN JUDGEMENT AND THEN NOT CARRY IT OUT! Law without enforcement is no law at all. Many a time I have wished that I didn't have to enforce my own laws upon my children and I've tried to sort of get out of it. But once you let them get away with it and they find out you're not going to enforce it‚ then there's hell to pay because then they figure they can get away with it every time.
31. IF YOU LET THEM JUST DO IT ONCE, YOU'VE JUST ABOUT HAD IT, because they're always hoping that next time you're not going to spank them, that you're not going to keep your promise or your threat to spank them for doing it, or whatever the punishment might be. I'm just saying spanking—spanking can be a lot of different things. But with the small children who don't understand an awful lot of reasoning sometimes, you just have to apply the rod.
32. I WAS ALWAYS GREATLY IN FAVOUR OF PUNISHING THE OFFENDING MEMBER. Jesus said something about that in the New Testament. If they kept touching something they weren't supposed to touch, I'd finally spank their hand after I'd warned them again and again.
33. LITTLE CHILDREN ARE AMAZING THIS WAY. I've written something we haven't published yet called "Child Psychology"—not the psychology of the adult, but the way a child uses psychology on its parents. They are psychological geniuses and it's amazing!
34. THE CHILD WILL REACH OUT AFTER YOU'VE TOLD HIM NOT TO touch it, "Don't touch it!" He'll look at you and reach his finger out to see what you're going to do‚ just to test you, to try you. "Were you really going to swat me? If I really do it would you really do it?" And let me tell you, if you don't, they'll think they can get away with it every time!
35. SO FINALLY I'D HOLD MY FINGER AT THE CHILDREN AND LOOK THEM STRAIGHT IN THE EYE and they look you straight in the eye like this, and I'd say, "No! Daddy's going to spank! Daddy's going to slap your hand if you touch it!" But they're not sure whether you are or not, so they'll jab it and run! Boy, I'd grab them and whammy on the hand, the offending member.
36. SPANKING THE OFFENDING MEMBER HELPS THEM GET THE POINT OF WHAT'S DONE WRONG‚ which member it was that committed the sin or did the wrong thing. Let them know, not just abruptly without warning, without any previous knowledge of the law or the rule you've layed down, but like the Lord does.
37. GOD FIRST LAYS DOWN THE LAW, "Now here it is‚ take it or leave it. You can do right or wrong, you can obey it or disobey it." Then if you play around‚ He may give you one or two warnings, "Now don't! Don't! Don't! You're getting a little too close!"—and then if you go right ahead He's got to apply the rod. So if you don't apply the rod, they will think they can get away with it again.
41. If [my Father] ever let me get away with anything I didn't really respect him. If you let your children get away with anything when they know they need correction, they won't respect you for it.
45. SO WHEN WE HAVE PROBLEMS LIKE THIS, DON'T RESCUE THEM PREMATURELY! As much as you may be tempted to and sorry for them and it makes you weep for them, don't rescue them prematurely until they have proven that they are really repentant and really sorry.
46. THE ONLY WAY THEY CAN PROVE IT IS ON PROBATION‚ proving by their works, proving by their fruits, until you know that it's a genuine repentance. Jesus said of the Scribes and Pharisees, "Bring ye forth therefore fruits meet for repentance." (Mat.3:8.) Their works will produce the fruit and "by their fruits ye shall know them." (Mat.7:20.)
47. NOW IF THEIR WORKS BEGIN TO SHOW THAT THEY REALLY ARE TRYING hard and they're really repentant‚ well, don't rescue them prematurely. Let them keep on working at it until they also have some good fruit from their works. Then you know that their works were the right kind of works and it's the Lord, if it produces good fruit, 'cause that's the final test.
48. IF THEY ARE GOOD WORKS THEY WILL PRODUCE GOOD FRUIT‚ they have to. They're bound to, because in other words they will be works of the Holy Spirit, not just their works, and they will be fruits of the Spirit.
49. JESUS ALSO SAID THAT TO THE SCRIBES AND THE PHARISEES. He had to give so many sermons to them, even though it never seemed to do them much good. But he at least had to deliver His soul and He had to give them a fair warning so their blood wouldn't be on His hands.
50. SO LET'S LEARN SOME VALUABLE LESSONS ON WHAT MISTAKES NOT TO MAKE OURSELVES as leaders and how to handle those others who do make mistakes. How do you think we should handle them? The way you yourself would want to be handled if you were in their place, amen?
51. I HOPE YOU WOULDN'T WANT TO BE TOO MERCIFUL ON YOURSELF until you learn your lesson. "Now, if I'm good to you now and take it real easy on you, will you promise to be easy on me when I make my mistakes?" Don't do any logrolling, any of this tit-for-tat you know, that's politicking. Chastise them, correct them and teach and train them.
52. THE LITERAL MEANING OF THE WORD TRANSLATED IN THE NEW TESTAMENT AS "CHASTISEMENT" IS "CHILD TRAINING" in the original Greek. Now a lot of people seem to think that chastisement means punishment. Well, in a way it's punishment. The punishment can be chastisement or child training‚ but in some cases it can just be plain final judgement, like the final punishment of the wicked.
53. BUT THE BEST KIND OF SO CALLED PUNISHMENT SHOULD BE CHASTENING OR CHILD TRAINING, something that will teach them something, train them and help them to learn the lesson, and help them never to make the same mistake again.
54. DESIGN THE PUNISHMENT OR THE CHILD TRAINING SO THAT IT HAS SOMETHING TO DO WITH THE OFFENSE. When I said bad words, for example, my mother used to wash my mouth out with soap. If you have ever had soap in your mouth, it is pretty unpleasant. But you see this sort of got the point across in a physical literal illustration that she was trying to clean out my mouth. She was trying to show me that I should keep my mouth and my words clean and not use such language.
55. CHILDREN OFTEN PICK UP THINGS FROM OTHER CHILDREN, outside children. Thank God ours live in a wonderful community where they don't have that horrible contact most of the time and they don't have to pick up all those foul words and language and dirty things.
56. BUT I THINK THERE ARE SOME WORDS THAT CHILDREN SHOULDN'T BE GOING AROUND SAYING all the time. Or if the child is naughty and sasses or something, sort of give a punishment relating to the offense, do you understand? So they will get the relationship—"why are you washing out my mouth with soap?"
57. EVEN A LITTLE CHILD CAN GET THE POINT PRETTY CLEARLY that "I'm getting my mouth washed with soap because I said something I shouldn't say. Why are you slapping my hand so hard? Because I did something with my hand I wasn't supposed to do." "Little feet be careful where you lead me‚ little hands be careful, careful what you do"—a little song we used to sing!
58. JESUS SAID THAT IT'S EVEN BETTER TO HAVE YOUR HAND CUT OFF or your eye put out and lose one than to arrive in Hell with both of them. That's how serious the Lord looked on the situation. (Mat.5:29-30.)
59. WELL, SOME PEOPLE HAVE TAKEN THAT TOO LITERALLY. I've even heard of fanatics that actually did it! I heard of a teenage boy that chopped off his hand because he couldn't stop stealing. Well it probably was a permanent reminder never to do it again, but that's pretty severe punishment.
60. I UNDERSTAND THEY STILL DO THAT IN SOME ARAB COUNTRIES, it's one of the old Muslim laws. In fact, if you want to know one of the reasons why Black Africa is rising up against their former white rulers—the ones of today may be treating them pretty well‚ but there was a day when there were all kinds of horrible atrocities perpetrated on the black slave labour that the Europeans were using in Africa.
61. IT WAS A COMMON THING FOR THE BELGIAN SLAVE MASTERS OF THE BELGIAN CONGO. It was virtually slavery. If the black persistently didn't gather enough rubber and if they thought he was lazy and didn't gather enough rubber—this was actually known to have happened—they cut off one hand! So can you blame the blacks for finally rising up against their masters?
62. BELIEVE IT OR NOT, IT MAY SHOCK YOU TO KNOW, BUT THE BIBLE IS NOT AGAINST SLAVERY! There are plenty of capitalists nowadays who aren't against slavery either, as some of our kids so well know by the jobs they had! They just have a new name for it—employment—and they get out of having to really take care of them like they ought to and did the slaves.
63. BUT THE GOOD MASTERS HAD TO REALLY TAKE CARE OF THEIR SLAVES and they loved them and their love was returned. They took care of them from the cradle to the grave. It was total security, not just social security. So masters are supposed to love their slaves.
64. FOR THOSE DEAR ENGLISH TRANSLATORS OF KING JAMES IT WAS TOO STRONG TO TRANSLATE THE WORD "SERVUS" AS "SLAVE," since they were pretty much against slavery. The British loved their freedom, so it was a little strong to translate that Greek word "servus" into its literal meaning "slave." So throughout the New Testament you will instead find the word "servant." Now a servant could be a hired servant‚ he didn't necessarily have to be a slave.
65. BUT THE LITERAL MEANING OF THE GREEK WORD "SERVUS" WAS "SLAVE." So, when the Lord's talking about servants, He's talking about slaves. And when He's talking about us being His servants He's talking about us being His slaves, believe it or not. We're love slaves‚ we serve Him for love, amen? So how did we get onto that, being slaves, servants?—
66. CHASTISEMENT FOR THE OFFENDING MEMBER. Now the little bottom is not very often the offending member unless it sits somewhere it shouldn't, but it makes a very handy well-padded spot to apply the chastisement where it's not going to damage anything, but the child still will be able to feel it effectively.
68. WATCH OUT ABOUT GETTING ANGRY AT YOUR CHILDREN AND HITTING THEM QUICKLY AND HARD in some way that you might actually injure them, especially on the ears. Be very careful never to strike your children on the ears. You could rupture an eardrum and cause permanent damage, or anywhere near the eyes where you could accidentally injure an eye or something.
70. I know a lot of this modern child psychology of Dr. Spock was all against [corporal punishment]. But now 30 years too late he's coming out with new books saying he was sorry he made a mistake and that some children do need disciplining and so on.
71. AFTER HE'S ALREADY RUINED A WHOLE GENERATION, Americans particularly, he comes out and says I'm sorry, after they've already all become criminals and incorrigibles and whatnot! So that was very kind of him to come out and confess his mistakes at that late date. Well, you've got to hand it to him, at least he was honest and confessed, whereas a lot of child psychologists haven't.
72. WELL I GUESS THIS LITTLE CHAT IS WORTHY OF YOUR TIME. I didn't intend to give it to you, but since we're chastising one of our children in the person of this young couple at the moment, it's worth it. You as leaders are going to have a lot of this sort of thing to have to deal with, you always do. After all, they're all children and they all make mistakes like you do and I do and all God's children do.
73. CHILD REARING IS A LONG TEDIOUS DRAWN OUT PROCESS AND IT JUST DOESN'T HAPPEN OVERNIGHT. It took a lot of long years of training to get some of you in the shape you're in now, thank God. Now you're lots better and more useful, more obedient and wiser‚ and I believe you're doing a better job with your own leaders as well, because you've been through the mill and know what it's like and can have more sympathy for them. But at the same time‚ you can be firmer with them because you know they need it.
74. DON'T WAIT TO GIVE PEOPLE THE WORD AFTER THEY HAVE OFFENDED. It really isn't fair after somebody's offended and you know who is guilty, to start telling them the word and the rules and the law, after it's a little too late for them to avoid it. Be sure that you let them know what the rules are in advance.
75. I KEPT MY CHILDREN WELL INFORMED OF THE WORD OF GOD AND THE RULES OF THE HOUSEHOLD, rules of behaviour. They knew what the rules were before they broke them‚ which they frequently did, but at least they knew what the rules were, and I was not guilty of not having told them.
76. YOU CANNOT PUNISH A CHILD FOR DOING SOMETHING WRONG THAT THEY DIDN'T KNOW WAS WRONG, it's not really fair. You may have to stop them, you may have to teach and train them in some ways not to do it again. But you certainly cannot give them the kind of punishment or judgement that you should give them if you haven't warned them and told them again and again not to do it.
77. NOW SOME HAVE THE SAYING THAT IGNORANCE OF THE LAW IS NO EXCUSE, but it doesn't, believe it or not, say that in the Bible. Nevertheless it's true, it is no excuse, but it does say that those which are without the law shall be judged without the law accordingly. (Rom.2:12.)
78. IN OTHER WORDS, IF THEY DIDN'T KNOW ANY BETTER, GOD IS GOING TO BE MORE MERCIFUL ON THEM. Jesus Himself said very plainly, "That servant which knew his master's will and did things worthy of stripes shall be beaten with many stripes," in other words he willfully disobeyed and did what he knew was wrong. But He said‚ "That servant which knew not his master's will and did things worthy of stripes shall be beaten with few stripes!" (Lk.12:47-48.) Now you say that seems a little unfair if he didn't even know it was wrong.
79. EVEN IF HE WAS WITHOUT THE LAW, THERE'S STILL THE HOLY SPIRIT which warns people of things that are wrong. Even in the heart of the jungles in the most savage tribes the general rules of human behaviour are very much the same. They know it's wrong to do certain things and they have those basic fundamental laws of human behaviour that God has put in their heart by His Spirit even though they don't know Him.
80. THE UNGODLY AND THE UNBELIEVERS ARE ALWAYS SAYING, "WELL HOW CAN GOD SEND A SINNER TO HELL that never even heard about Him and never heard the Name of Jesus?" and so on and so on. Well, I have a good answer for them now I didn't used to have:
81. I CAN TELL THEM THAT HE'S NOT NECESSARILY GOING TO SEND THEM TO HELL! He may have some other place He's going to send them for awhile until they learn, but it's not going to be Heaven. I don't know whether you've heard all my doctrines yet or not. That may shock you if you haven't read all the Letters.
82. SO, SPEAKING ABOUT THE WORD, YOU'VE GOT TO GIVE THEM THE WORD! You've got to tell them the rules and give them the law, but they have got to let it sink in to where they remember it and it works in their own minds and hearts so they remember to keep it. You've got to help them learn God's Word—the general rules of life; your word—the general rules of your house, and what you do and don't do, and the result if you do something you shouldn't.
83. WARN THEM AHEAD OF TIME WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN so they will know that this is going to happen. This is why sometimes the Lord says, "they which sin before all rebuke before all" (1Tim.5:20); you have to make some people an example that others may fear. We can't let them get away with it, even if we would like to let them get away with it.
84. THE GREATEST JUDGES YOU'RE GOING TO FIND IN YOUR FAMILY ARE THE OTHER CHILDREN.—Whew! Let me tell you, they are little judges and they judge each other, and if you try to let one of them get away with something, ah, oh boy, they will tell you off and let you have it!
85. "YOU DIDN'T LET ME GET AWAY WITH IT!—You did so-and-so to me when I did it, now you're going to let him get away with it!" Boy‚ I tell you, they really check up on each other, nobody gets one ounce of consideration more than another one. They want to make sure that everybody's treated fairly‚ especially themselves.
86. IT'S KIND OF LIKE THAT OLD TRICK WHEN YOU JUST HAVE ONE COOKIE BAR TO DIVIDE between two kids, which we often had to do because we didn't have much money. You know what you do, don't you? You have one person divide the cookie bar, and whoever divides it has to take the smallest piece. Boy, you ought to see them measure that cookie bar! They really make sure they hit it dead on center!
87. KIDS ARE THE BEST JUDGES IN THE WORLD! They are little judges, and the older they get the more they become little judges‚ until like Dr. Fakima said, "Teenagers are the world's greatest judges‚" and they have the world's highest standards. They are perfectionists, they expect perfection.
88. THEY ARE ANYTHING BUT PERFECT THEMSELVES, BUT THEY THINK THEIR PARENTS OUGHT TO BE perfect. The police ought to be perfect, the rest of the world and all the adults ought to be perfect‚ and they are furious because they're not! Well, I guess in a way God made them that way: Adults ought to be better and they ought to set a better example.
89. TEENAGERS ARE THE GREATEST IDEALISTS. They want perfection and they expect perfection and they demand perfection, and if you don't give it to them they will let you have it! They'll tell you off if in any way you're unjust or unfair or you don't live up to their standard. If in dealing with one child you don't deal with him as the others think you ought to, they'll let you know.
90. AS MY MOTHER USED TO SAY, "THE WORLD HAS MUCH HIGHER STANDARDS FOR A CHRISTIAN THAN MOST CHRISTIANS DO FOR THEMSELVES." In other words, the world itself knows what a Christian ought to be like and expects more from Christians than most Christians and church people seem to expect of themselves. And for this reason the world is disappointed in Christians and church people. The church has become the world's worst testimony.
91. YOU'LL FIND YOUR OWN CHILDREN HAVE HIGHER STANDARDS FOR YOU THAN SOMETIMES YOU HAVE FOR YOURSELF, and that includes your spiritual children. They expect perfection‚ and sometimes when you don't deliver they are disappointed and disillusioned, and their faith being weak they stumble over you.
92. THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO, BECAUSE I'M A PROPHET, EXPECT ME TO BE SOME KIND OF A SAINT‚ an example of absolute sinless perfection, which I am not, as most of you know. It depends on, of course, what your idea of sainthood is. But you see, the Enemy's idea and the world's idea of sainthood is sinless perfection, self-righteousness, total sinlessness.
93. GOD'S IDEA OF SAINTLINESS IS NOT SINLESS PERFECTION, SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS. It's a sinner saved by grace, a sinner who has no perfection, no righteousness of his own at all, but is totally dependent on the grace and the love and the mercy of God by faith. Believe it or not, those are the only saints there are—there are no others!
94. KING DAVID WAS ONE OF THE WORST SINNERS THAT THE WORLD HAS KNOWN, but he was also one of the greatest saints, because he knew he was totally dependent on the love and the mercy and the grace of God for forgiveness. In other words, he gave God all the glory. He knew it was all the Lord and that he was a helluva mess and blew it everytime‚ except for the Lord.
95. GOD KNOWS YOU'RE ANYTHING BUT PERFECT AND CAN'T BE PERFECT and never will be perfect, and usually you're pretty much of a mess, like me, but the only question, the only standard is: Do you depend on the Lord totally, trust Him and His grace and His love and His mercy and give Him all the glory and all the credit? If there's anything good you ever do, do you give Him the glory? Do you say, "Thank Jesus, don't thank me! Thank the Lord, it's all the Lord!"
96. THAT'S WHAT THE LORD LOOKS TO AS SAINTLINESS, THE PERSON WHO KNOWS HE'S A SINNER and therefore gives God all the glory if anything good comes of what he's done. As Paul said, "I know that in my flesh there dwelleth no good thing" (Ro.7:18). There's nothing good about me or my flesh, it's only the Lord!—That's sainthood.
97. THE GREATEST SAINTS WERE THE GREATEST SINNERS WHO KNEW IT AND THEREFORE DEPENDED TOTALLY ON GOD. Maybe that's why the Lord could finally use me‚ because as Mom knows for so many years, and even Maria knows to this day‚ I always feel like such a horrible sinner and such a mess. I feel like I've done so many things wrong and make so many mistakes and have such a hard time making up my mind or making a decision or anything else, that I am a hopeless case.
98. I JUST HAVE TO DEPEND ON THE LORD BECAUSE I DON'T KNOW ANYTHING. I don't know what to do except by His Word that we already have, and thank God for that!—That's great! But when it comes to some specific little decisions, I sometimes haven't the faintest idea of what to do! So if you want to know what state we live in, we live in a state of indecision most of the time!—Ha!—About some things, not all things, thank the Lord!
99. MY MIND'S PRETTY WELL MADE UP ABOUT SOME THINGS, SUCH AS GOING INTO ALL THE WORLD and preaching the Gospel to every creature. I know that's a fact and a rule and it's right there and I don't have any doubts about it, and I know if we do it God will take care of us. Therefore since I'm trying my best to do that and get you to do it‚ I know when the time comes for me to do something I'll know what to do. I don't have to know what I'm going to do tomorrow.
100. WE HAVE TO PROCEED WITH GREAT CAUTION AND GREAT WISDOM, BUT AT THE SAME TIME WE THINK, WE PRAY‚ WE OBSERVE all the possibilities. We have to plumb all the opportunities, we study all the books and the maps, we have to study all the different possibilities. We assess the whole situation. We don't just sit on our rump saying, "Lord, You do it all! We'll just sit here until You strike us with a bolt from the blue!"
101. GOD EXPECTS YOU TO DO WHAT YOU CAN DO. When Jesus went to raise Lazarus from the dead, which was something nobody else could do, what did He say?—"Roll ye away the stone!" (Jn.11:39.) He could have made Lazarus walk right through the stone, why didn't He do that? Well, if He had, you know what some people would have said? "Ah, he wasn't dead at all. He was just hiding there all the time! It's just a phoney trick, mesmerism, witchcraft! He's a magician!"
102. WHY DID THEY HAVE TO ROLL AWAY THE STONE? They said‚ "He's been dead four days, he stinks by this time!" Well, some of them had to show their faith for one thing, but they also had to show that he was actually dead and they could smell that he was stinking. How could they prove that he was raised from the dead if they didn't even know that he was dead? So sometimes if you don't try all the possibilities you won't know what the conditions are.
103. I FIND THE FUNNIEST THING ABOUT SHOPPING. Almost always the first item the Lord leads me to I find out was the best one for the best price, believe it or not. I mean if you're really seeking the Lord and asking the Lord to lead and help you‚ that's often the way it is.
104. BUT YOU KNOW ME, THEN I HAVE TO GO AROUND AND PRICE THE SAME ITEM IN EVERY STORE and look at it everywhere else to make sure, and almost always it proves then that the first one was the best buy. I'm beginning to have a little bit more faith after all these years. For one thing I always hoped that I could find it a little bit cheaper somewhere, you know, and sort of keep shopping around and shopping around.
105. BUT I WASTE A MUCH GREATER WORTH OF TIME SHOPPING around to save a few pennies and waste strength. Well, I'm finally getting the point that my time and my strength is even worth more than saving a few pence! I used to shop all day for one particular item to make sure I found the best and the cheapest and got the best deal and the greatest bargain, and waste a whole day and be worn out at the end!
106. GOD EXPECTS US TO DO ALL WE CAN. He expects you to do some shopping sometimes, even if for nothing else but to prove to yourself that you did get a good buy. I know that house hunting often happens that way.
107. THE FIRST PLACE WE FIND IS OFTEN THE BEST place, but then we go around looking at more. We just don't really realise it until we've looked at a few other places‚ and then we usually come back to the first one God led us to in the first place. So God does expect you to do what you can. What does He say? Have you got a Scripture for it?
108. "SEEK AND YE SHALL FIND, knock and it shall be opened unto you, ask and ye shall receive" (Mat.7:7-8). If you don't go around looking you're not going to find, maybe all nine doors are shut and you're only going to find one open, but are you just going to sit there and say, "Lord reveal to me‚" like we've really been doing a good deal of the time?
109. I'VE LEARNED GOD EXPECTS YOU TO PUT FEET TO YOUR PRAYERS, get out and do a little hoofing and look, and I believe that's one reason for it. God has to show you the conditions and the circumstances so that when you do get the answer, when you find the right one, the right place, you'll know it's God and you know it's a miracle and you know it's the best. Otherwise you wouldn't know it if you just sat there saying, "Lord give me a revelation! I'm a prophet, Lord, show me a vision!"
110. I THINK MADAME M KNOWS MORE ABOUT WHERE WE'RE GOING THAN I DO! She got more pictures about where we were going than I've had, but we've gone exactly those very places, believe it or not! We never realised it until we got there‚ until I was sitting there reading a brochure on Tenerife. It said the legend has it that this is all that remains of the Lost Continent of Atlantis. I said‚ "Maria, look here! Do you remember what Madame M said?
111. "SHE SAID WE WERE GOING TO SOME ISLANDS that had something to do with Atlantis," and I wouldn't believe it. I wouldn't believe it! We didn't even like the Atlantic, we preferred the Mediterranean!
112. SO OFTEN YOU EVEN HAVE TO DO SOME SHOPPING and you've got to knock a lot, you've got to seek a lot, until you finally find the open door and you get the answer. I believe the reason is our own stupidity in some ways perhaps, or maybe just to make certain that we really know and see for sure. Now after all,
113. WHY DOES A BABY STICK EVERYTHING IT CAN LAY ITS HANDS ON IN ITS MOUTH? Why? It's interested in eating, and how does it know what's good to eat and what isn't unless it tries or unless you teach it? But you'll find it sticks everything in its mouth to try to see what it tastes like and its texture—even if he can't do anything but gum it‚ he tries!
114. IF YOU DON'T TRY IT, HOW DO YOU KNOW YOU WON'T LIKE IT? So God has to give us a variety of experiences to find out for sure.
115. ONE OF THE EARLIEST THINGS A CHILD LEARNS IS NOT TO TOUCH HOT THINGS, like stoves or heaters, particularly in cold weather: "Don't touch!—Hot!—Hot!" But invariably every child I ever knew had to sooner or later try it anyhow when you weren't looking.
116. ALL OF A SUDDEN YOU HEAR A SCREAM AND HE'S GONE AND TOUCHED IT when you weren't looking, in spite of many warnings, and he's sitting there, boo hoo hoo, he did it! Well, if you don't learn any other way‚ that's one sure way to learn!
117. I'LL NEVER FORGET THE TIME WHEN DEAR OLD JETH WAS HAVING TO SIT IN SOME OF MY FIRST EARLIEST CLASSES in the Cruiser and decided that was a bit too much. He'd rather take off and have a little freedom now that he was married, and not have to sit under dear old Dad's teaching when he could be down fishing and hunting on the farm. After all, that was a lot more fun. And so I said, "Well Jeth, there's some things you need to learn. You know, if God wants you to learn He's going to teach you one way or the other.
118. THE EASY WAY TO LEARN IS TEACHERS, they're a shortcut to learning. If you listen to your teachers you can avoid the pitfalls and the mistakes and you don't have to go through the bitter experiences.
119. BUT GOD WILL TEACH YOU ONE WAY OR THE OTHER. If He loves you at all, if you're His child, He'll teach you. There's the easy way and the hard way. The easy way is to listen and obey. The hard way is to try it for yourself." I'll never forget that.
120. HE SAID, "WELL DAD, I GUESS I JUST HAVE TO LEARN THE HARD WAY"—and I think he's been doing it ever since! But I'll tell you one thing about it, at least he's learned, even though he had to learn a lot the hard way‚ like Doubting Thomas and other people like that. Now don't go laughing too much!—Some of you have done the same thing! You didn't believe and you tried it for yourself. You had to learn the hard way, but that's one of the surest ways of learning.
121. EXPERIENCE IS THE BEST TEACHER BUT THE HARDEST. It's the most expensive education you can possibly get and it hurts. But I dare say, I doubt if this couple will ever forget this lesson, amen? I hope they won't‚ not if you apply the rod and the rule as you should and give them what they need.
122. THE BIBLE SAYS TO APPLY THE ROD AND "SPARE NOT FOR HIS CRYING" (Pr.19:18). Why? Because if you spare too soon, you stop too soon, he's going to say, "Well, that wasn't too hard to take, I'll try it again next time."
123. I WOULD RATHER MY FATHER WOULD GIVE ME A BEATING ANY DAY than to have sat down and had to hear one of his lectures for an hour or two. I much preferred him just to give me a good walloping so I could get it over with and get out and back to play again.
124. I MUCH PREFERRED IT THAN TO SIT THERE AND LISTEN TO HIM TALK and talk, two hours lecturing me about it, when all the other guys were out there. I could hear them having so much fun and I was having to sit there and listen to this lecture. I would lots rather he'd just punish me and spank me and turn me loose, get it over with.
125. TO ME THAT WAS THE WORST PUNISHMENT OF ALL, BUT I GUESS THAT'S WHERE I LEARNED A LOT. I probably learned even more from some of his sermons than some of the spankings. Back then I would rather have learned the hard way, get punished and get it over quick and get back at it again! To me the easiest way was the hardest way‚ to have to sit and listen to a lecture. I don't know, maybe you feel like that right now.
126. WELL, DON'T BE TOO EASY ON THEM, BUT DON'T BE TOO HARD on them either. You can also be too harsh and too severe, too hard on them, and the Lord says some words of caution about that in the 12th Chapter of Hebrews:
127. WHEN THE CHILD TRAINING, THE CHASTENING, THE PUNISHMENT IS OVER, THEN'S THE TIME TO LOVE, to comfort, to encourage, "lest that which is lame be turned out of the way," become discouraged. Lest you get so hard on them they just can't meet the standards and they have to give up and they quit. Encourage them all you can.
128. FINALLY, FORGIVE, COMFORT AND LOVE 'EM UP! Love never fails! God is love! Love one another! The lashes are love too, but it's not always easy for a child to understand this kind of love—do you? God bless you!