25 When people have a dispute, they are to take it to court and the judges will decide the case, acquitting the innocent and condemning the guilty. 2 If the guilty person deserves to be beaten, the judge shall make them lie down and have them flogged in his presence with the number of lashes the crime deserves, 3 but the judge must not impose more than forty lashes. If the guilty party is flogged more than that, your fellow Israelite will be degraded in your eyes.
These verses appear irrelevant for today, but there are important principles to be learned. Are you in charge of the discipline of employees, students, or your own children? Here are three important points that will help you carry out your responsibility. First, the punishment needs to follow quickly after the offense. For example, if you say your child needs a time out for something that they did, then have that consequence be directly after the offense. Next, the degree of punishment needs to reflect the seriousness of the offense. If a student at school rips up a school book, the student may need to apologize and work to pay for a replacement book. Finally, do not overdo the punishment. Make sure discipline is swift, just, and restrained. Discipline needs to make a point while preserving the dignity of the offender.
Spirit and Truth