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detention0809In 1992, there was a high-school teacher outside of Chicago who found an unusual way to punish students when they did something wrong. They had to stay after school for detention, but not just your normal detention. That didn't seem to have much effect. No, the guilty students were being forced to stay after in the Frank Sinatra Detention Club. There, for 30 minutes, they had to sit utterly still – no talking, no homework, no snoozing – and listen to Frank Sinatra sing old songs.

I think it's brilliant – here was a teacher who found a way to make detention more fun for him, but less so for the kids. One senior said, "It got to where I couldn't stand it. It was so boring." Now, please understand, this teacher wasn't totally heartless. He let the students sing along if they wanted to, but nobody ever did.

And the students learned that if they do something wrong, there is a consequence -- a very negative consequence.

It is especially important for young people to learn at an early age that choices have consequences. In terms of their later success, it is one of the most important lessons they will ever learn. All too often we make decisions without seriously thinking about the long-range consequences.

Someone once said, "Most of our big mistakes are due to lack of forethought rather than intentional misdoings." In other words, most of the time that we do something wrong, it's because we haven't given enough thought about what will happen as a direct result of our actions.

Which of us isn't able to look back at something we've done in our lives, something really stupid? And we can see what's happened in our lives over the years because of that stupid action. If we had only realized how it would affect our lives and our family and our friends and the church, and how destructive it would be, then we never would have done it. And we would do anything to erase the damage, but we can't, because we committed the act and like it or not, we have had to suffer the consequences that resulted.

"Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life." (Galatians 6:7-8)

May we seek to make decisions that will bless our lives for years to come.

Alan Smith