Sometimes we have to do difficult things as a parent, spouse, friend, Christian… This week I have had both the privilige and responsibility of talking to more than one friend who came to me for counsel and a ready ear. In each case, I presented the issue to God and let the Holy Spirit guide me in my response.  However, in two of the cases I had to share some hard things. I’m happy to report that both friends have since thanked me. Whew. In fact, one just called and opened the conversation by thanking me for “smacking her in the head with a holy two-by-four.” Woah. It’s not easy stuff, but it is certainly part of the grace lessons we must learn.  We are instructed to do these things…

In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 1 Timothy 4:1-3

After one of these conversations, I was getting ready for bed when Mike read the following story to me from the newspaper: I am giving this mother a standing ovation! While her son is unhappy now, I believe he will thank her one day. Jane Hambleton is teaching him a grace lesson that may very well have saved his life and the life of others. Kudos to you, Mom!

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Jane Hambleton has dubbed herself the “meanest mom on the planet.”

After finding alcohol in her son’s car, she decided to sell the car and share her 19-year-old’s misdeed with everyone — by placing an ad in the local newspaper.

The ad reads: “OLDS 1999 Intrigue. Totally uncool parents who obviously don’t love teenage son, selling his car. Only driven for three weeks before snoopy mom who needs to get a life found booze under front seat. $3,700/offer. Call meanest mom on the planet.”

Hambleton has heard from people besides interested buyers since recently placing the ad in The Des Moines Register.

The 48-year-old from Fort Dodge says she has fielded more than 70 telephone calls from emergency room technicians, nurses, school counselors and even a Georgia man who wanted to congratulate her.

“The ad cost a fortune, but you know what? I’m telling people what happened here,” Hambleton says. “I’m not just gonna put the car for resale when there’s nothing wrong with it, except the driver made a dumb decision.

“It’s overwhelming the number of calls I’ve gotten from people saying ‘Thank you, it’s nice to see a responsible parent.’ So far there are no calls from anyone saying, ‘You’re really strict. You’re real overboard, lady.”‘

The only critic is her son, who Hambleton says is “very, very unhappy” with the ad and claims the alcohol was left by a passenger.

Hambleton believes her son but has decided mercy isn’t the best policy in this case. She says she set two rules when she bought the car at Thanksgiving: No booze, and always keep it locked.

The car has been sold, but Hambleton says she will continue the ad for another week — just for the feedback.