Today I was given a coin. On the face of the coin was inscribed the following words:
I don’t want to be hyper-critical. I don’t want to be too sarcastic. I don’t want to make anyone mad at me for thinking this through; but, I just can’t help finding this a little odd.
I was waiting in one of our schools for the children to dismiss for the bus when I overheard a teacher say, “…if you’re caught being good…” Immediately my interest was piqued. Three words were put together in a way that made no sense: “caught” (which usually involves apprehension), and “being good” (which usually involves being left alone). Why would anyone who is being good need to be caught? I thought that only happened to bad guys.
So, I followed the teacher (Mrs. Lauren Hensley – she said I could use her name) around the corner to ask if I’d heard her correctly. To my amazement, the enthusiastic Alabama fan explained that there is a whole program built around “catching” and rewarding children for “being good.” Believe it or not, she even gave me one of the coins the “caught” receive (I was good).
Please pardon my sarcastic attempt at humor. Even though I think I understand the reason for the coins, I still have some questions. Maybe someone could clear this up for me.
1) Why do you “catch” someone for being good? Doesn’t “catch” give the impression that you have been hooked, snagged, arrested, or apprehended?
2) Why would you catch someone for “being?” What have they done? The kids have to be there, don’t they? Shouldn’t all of them get coins?
3) What do you give the kids who actually DO good? Do they get their own coin? You see, being good is one thing, but doing good takes it to a whole different level. Maybe they should get a trophy.
4) Why is being good something that is rewarded? I have never had a Tennessee State Trooper pull me over and say, “Boy, do you realize you were doing 65 in a 65? I guess I’m gonna have give you a little coin to help you remember.” Why should doing what is expected be elevated to a level of achievement?
The difference between “being good” and “doing good” is about the same as the difference between “being in love” and “showing love.” One might involve a lot of internal emotion and good intentions, but the other is proof something is real.
From a Biblical perspective, we are taught to DO good, not BE good. As a matter of fact, Jesus didn’t just sit around Nazareth being good, He “went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed…” (Acts 10:38). What’s more, Jesus said “No one is good but One, that is, God” (Luke 18:19 NKJV).
Have you ever heard of a person being arrested for being bad? No, only when he does something bad. It may be a matter of semantics, but being and doing are two different things. If we’re gonna catch somebody, I hope it’s in the act of doing, not just being?
BTW, thanks to all the teachers (including Mrs. Hensley) who do their best to make this world a better place! You deserve more than a coin – You deserve our respect.