Getting Spanked by the Principle

Getting Spanked by the Principle

I’ll never forget the first time I got sent to the principal’s office.

I’ll never forget it for two reasons:

  1. I hadn’t done anything wrong
  2. My dad was the principal

I know it’s hard to believe, but I really hadn’t done it. But I stood around and watched as all my buddies bullied a guy from our 1st grade class. So I got herded into the office with the perpetrators.

I figured once I explained to dad that I hadn’t actually done anything he’d let me off the hook. But he didn’t. He never let me off the hook. (Sigh)

Instead he sat me down, paddle in hand and said, “Joël, I’m going to spank you because you need to understand something: The companion of fools will suffer harm.” (Proverbs 13:20)

That spanking hurt. I think it hurt most because I was innocent (sort of).

I never forgot that statement from dad. But a few years later I learned it was a Bible verse. The whole verse says, Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.

I see great people get themselves in big trouble simply because they hang with dumb people. People who don’t think about the consequences of their behavior. People who don’t learn from mistakes.

It’s serves as a constant reminder: I need to be careful who I’m running with. If I want to live skillfully I need to find wise people and get in step with them. According to Solomon, that’s the way to avoid lots of trouble in this life.