Mum was a deeply spiritual woman and every time any of us did something wrong, corrections were a huge part of growing up and they were always made with Biblical references.
One of her favourites will be the story of Eli, a judge/priest in Isreal in the Old Testament of the Bible.
“One of the most notable things recorded in connection with Eli is with reference to his two sons, Hophni and Phinehas. These two men served as priests, although they were very worthless men. Eli was very much aware of his sons’ sins. The report of their conduct circulated among the people and he knew of it. Indeed, he even administered a mild admonition to his children to persuade them not to sin before God. Yet, that was not enough. Eli was high priest and judge over Israel. He was in a position of authority and responsible for the worship which was offered to God. Whereas he should have taken a more decisive action and probably dismissed his sons as priests, he continued to let them serve. He lacked the righteous indignation and the backbone required to set his sons on the right track. Writing in the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, A. C. Grant said, “The character of Eli, while sincere and devout, seems to have been entirely lacking in firmness. He appears from the history to have been a good man, full of humility and gentleness, but weak and indulgent.
Because of Eli’s attitude with reference to his sons, God brought judgment against Eli’s house.”
In Mum’s books, Eli, was an overly indulgent parent, failed woefully in restraining his two sons and apparently did a crappy job raising them as Godly men.
Needless to say that she was determined not to make the same mistake.
And so, whenever we went “off track”, Mum would say, and in a very solemn voice,”I will not be Eli! I will not die, neither will I allow you to bring judgement on yourselves nor on this household. You are not allowed any sassy attitude while my blood runs through your veins and you will most certainly not do as you please while you’re under my care”.
My siblings and I literally got to a point when we felt we had heard and had enough of Eli and his sons.
Nevertheless, we learnt some very vital lessons.
We learnt to be corrected and to take corrections.
We learnt to accept constructive feedback and to face whatever the consequences of our actions might be.
But, above all, we learnt that there are mistakes that could be avoided.
And, this is a lesson I’m still learning: “Don’t repeat the mistake of others”.
It doesn’t matter if they’re people personally known to me or people I read about.
I will make my own mistakes and I will learn from them, however, it is decided that I will also learn from the mistakes of others before me and thus save myself the pain.
I will also learn from the successes of others and benefit from them.