Parable of the Ungrateful "Child"
My children get 45 minutes of computer time at one time.
One of the programs they like to play is an online game by Disney called Toontown. There is a new “neighborhood” where you can play miniature golf and sometimes play goes a little longer than the 45 minutes they are allotted. I always let them finish up their games, even after the timer goes off.
The other day, my oldest daughter, 13 almost 14, knew that she was low on time, but decided to go for 9 rounds anyway. I allowed her to go over her time and it was 15-20 minutes after the timer went off.
Tonight, her sister, 12, was on the computer. Emily, my oldest had been asking to go on all night, but I needed her to babysat while I ran to the store. Caytie was on the computer when I returned home. Emily had asked, when the timer went off if she could go on the computer. I said yes. Not long after, Caytie came in to inform me that Emily had come over to the computer and quit the program Caytie was working on.
I was furious and told Emily she couldn’t go on the computer. I then told Caytie to get back on and finish up what she was working on and told her if Emily retaliated in any way, she was to tell me.
I was in my room getting angrier at Emily’s behavior, especially in light of me allowing all that extra time the other day, when the Lord reminded me of the parable of the ungrateful servant. I immediately calmed down and knew what her punishment would be. I’d have her write out the parable, in her best handwriting, and then allow her back on the computer, making sure she understood the parallels between her actions and that of the ungrateful servant.
She’s working on it now. She is unaware that I will be letting her back on the computer and is a little ticked off at me right now. But that’s ok. I believe the point will be received.
“Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.
“The servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.
“But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.
“His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’
“But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. When the other servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed and went and told their master everything that had happened.
“Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.
“This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.”
Granted, Emily didn’t need to forgive Caytie, however, I still think the parable fits the crime. And, of course, I don’t want Emily to have a “fire and brimstone” view of our Heavenly Father, and I will be sure to let her know that He loves her unconditionally, as do I.