RIGHT CHOICES MAY NOT HAVE IMMEDIATE BENEFITS, BUT GOD WILL USE THEM FOR OUR BENEFIT.
Bible Reading of the Day: Read Romans 8:28-30.
Verse of the Day: “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them” (Romans 8:28).
Mom had been talking to Jermaine about his friend Tyree. Just then she pulled a cookie sheet filled with fragrant chocolate-chip cookies from the oven. “Don’t those smell good?” she asked Jermaine. “Back to Tyree, he knows better than to ask you to run errands for those drug pushers on the corner, doesn’t he?”
Jermaine scratched his head nervously. “That’s why he’s been calling me, Mom. He wants me to help him.”
“Mm hmm,” Mom said. “You told him no, didn’t you?”
“Not yet?” Mom barked. “Child, you get on that phone right now and tell Tyree you’re not allowed anywhere near that corner.”
“Mom,” Jermaine said, his tone pleading, “he’ll think I’m a little kid. And he’ll start messin’ with my reputation at school.”
“Doing the right thing isn’t always easy. But the Lord will work it all together for good.”
“You’re always saying that, Mom, and I don’t even know what it means.”
Jermaine was right; she used that Romans 8:28 phrase often, and she had always assumed that he knew what she meant. She picked up a teaspoon and dipped it into the small can of baking soda on the counter. Then she held the spoon up to Jermaine’s mouth. “Here,” she said, “taste this.”
Jermaine immediately made a sour face. “Ugh!” he said. “That’s nasty!”
“OK, then.” She picked up a warm cookie from the tray on the counter. “Try this.”
He chewed it. “That’s better. Don’t make me eat that nasty stuff again.”
Mom nodded. “That’s what Romans 8:28 means. The baking soda didn’t taste very good, did it? But put it together with eggs and sugar and chocolate chips, and the result is real fine, isn’t it? Well, right choices don’t always have pleasant consequences. But God mixes them all together like a batch of cookie dough and blesses the right choices we make, even if they don’t taste sweet by themselves.”
Jermaine sighed as he walked across the kitchen and picked up the telephone receiver. Mom didn’t have to ask what he was doing. She knew he was calling Tyree with the news that he would not help him run errands for the men on the street corner.
TO DISCUSS: Do you think right choices sometimes have unpleasant consequences? What makes you think that? Do you think we should make right choices even if they have unpleasant consequences? Why or why not?
TO PRAY: “Heavenly Father, your Word tells us that you cause everything to work together for the good of those who love you. Help us, Father, to believe that—even when we feel afraid or sad.”