DO YOU DECIDE WHAT’S RIGHT, OR DOES GOD?
Bible Reading of the Day: Read Luke 6:32-35.
Verse of the Day: “Always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else” (1 Thessalonians 5:15, NIV).
Sarah glared down the sidewalk at the person approaching. She stood with other members of her church youth group on the city sidewalk, passing out coupons for free ice-cream cones as a combined service and witnessing project. Sometimes a person would stop and ask why they were giving away free ice-cream cones, and they would use that opportunity to explain God’s love and the plan of salvation to the person. Everything had been going great, and Sarah was enjoying herself-until she saw the girl who now walked toward her.
“It’s Hillary Whitson,” she hissed to her friend Teri.
Teri turned and squinted against the bright sunlight. “Yeah,” she said. “Sure is.”
“Is that all you can say?”
“What am I supposed to say?” Teri asked.
“This is Hillary Whitson we’re talking about-the girl who thinks she’s better than everyone else in our grade. She’s gonna walk right by us!”
“So give her a coupon,” Teri suggested.
“I’m not going to give her a coupon!” Sarah’s voice dripped with indignation. “She’s always treating us like we’re dirt.”
“That doesn’t mean we should treat her that way,” Teri said.
“Well, it doesn’t mean I have to be nice to her,” Sarah countered.
Teri cocked her head as if she had just thought of something. “Actually, I think you do,” she said.
“What do you mean?” Sarah asked, her eyes narrowing with suspicion.
“Jesus said, what good is it if you’re only nice to people who are nice to you? He said we should love our enemies, remember?”
“Well, I’m not going to do it,” Sarah decided. “I don’t have to be nice to Hillary Whitson!”
“You don’t?” Teri said. She gave her last coupon to a passerby. “Who decides what’s right, then—you or God?”
Sarah looked back and forth from Teri’s face to Hillary’s approaching form. “Ooh,” she said at last, “you make me so mad sometimes.” She took a step toward Hillary and extended a coupon for a free ice-cream cone.
TO DISCUSS: Do you think we should be kind only to people who are kind to us? Why or why not? Do you think kindness is right only when it’s easy? Why or why not? Is it right to be kind even when it’s hard? even when we don’t feel like it? even when someone doesn’t deserve it? Have you shown kindness to someone in the last twenty-four hours? If so, tell each other about that experience.
TO PRAY: “Lord, help us to be kind to everyone, even those whom we find hardest to love.”