You make the call…kind of…


If you were a police officer assigned to a school and a young lady refuses to leave the room when asked by several school teachers and workers, what would you do? How would you handle it?

OK, you may want to take a moment to think about that. Granted, the officer had no time to think this specific issue through. However, when assigned to the school, he should have determined within himself the way he would respond to complete disregard to authority. That was what he was there to handle.

Or, you would expect the school to have a standard policy for disregard for authority. Nonetheless, there is no excuse for what happened.

Obviously, the girl had drawn a line in the sand. “You can’t make me do anything! I am staying right here! Whatcha gonna to do about it?”

For those of us who love to work with, and love, youth, this is something for which we are going to have to prepare to face. With eroding home structures, permissive parents who prefer being a friend when kids need parents, and a generation often given to the concept of entitlement, despite the promise of “new discipline techniques” practiced for over 40 years, this will be far too common of an issue. Are we ready?

The authorities have to worry about a spark becoming a flash-fire. One student disrespecting authority in front of other students typically does not bring out the best behavior in the group. The pressure to end such rebellion quickly can blind us to the best solution.

Students, however, can connect the dots better than we give the credit. They can connect the distant consequences to current actions if we, the authorities, simply point it out.

To me, the best approach is to remind the rebellious student that they can win the moment and lose the war. This girl was not going to sit in that chair for the rest of her life. Eventually, she would have given up and left the room. She needed to be reminded that the worse consequences are those unforeseen ones in the future.

At the end of the day, the girl would have been at home. The authorities could have explained to the other students that the girl would eventually leave and the consequences were becoming increasingly worse. There would be a tomorrow. There would be a next week. The girl’s decisions today would impact her life for a long time.

Perhaps a class period would have been ruined. Lesson plans would have stopped until she left. But they were lost anyway, right? But tomorrow the girl would not be there to disrupt.

Once the officer made the confrontation an issue that was going to be settled “here and now”, things turned ugly. Authorities, who are supposed to have a long-term view for education and lessons, failed to reinforce the idea that the long-term approach was more significant. A teaching opportunity was lost and the consequences now are on the other side.


Overcomer vs. Under the Circumstances


Someone once raised the question, “What is an OVERcomer doing UNDER the circumstances?” Perhaps that question was asked in ignorance.

  • Noah was under the circumstances when he was in the Ark.
  • Gideon was under the circumstances when he surrounded the sizeable Midianite army with only 300 men.
  • David was under the circumstances when he was on the run from a murderous King Saul as God prepared his young heart to be a good king.
  • Daniel and the other Hebrew students were under the circumstance while in captivity in Babylon when God revealed to Daniel the highly esteemed prophecy.
  • Jesus was under the circumstances when He hung on the cross to die for the sins of the whole world.

Think about it. A lump of clay will be under the circumstances while the wise potter presses, squeezes and molds the clay into a useful vessel. “But now, O LORD, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.” Isaiah 64:8.

When I woke up, the sky was overcast. The weatherman this morning told us the conditions under the clouds. We know that above the clouds it is clear and sunny all the time. But we are under the clouds.

How God uses the circumstances to shape us is His business, not ours. “Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use?” Romans 9:21.

If you are one of God’s children and under the circumstances, trust in the Potter. God will use those for your good and His glory (Romans 8:28). Trust Him.