Bible Reading: James 1:17-18
Whatever is good and perfect comes to us from God above. . . . He never changes or casts shifting shadows. James 1:17
Emily’s fifth-grade class was in the middle of a math test when Mrs. Chen got called out into the hall. Emily noticed the teacher had left the room, but she quickly focused her brain back on the word problem she was working on.
“Psst, Emmy,” she heard from behind her. She glanced over her shoulder and saw her friend Charlotte leaning forward trying to get her attention. “I’m stuck. What’s the answer on number five?”
“Shhh,” Emily whispered. “I can’t help you. That would be cheating.”
“Don’t be a dork,” Charlotte said. “You know I didn’t get a chance to study last night.”
Emily turned back to her own desk, and then she heard the words she dreaded to hear: “Come on, Emmy. If you’re really my friend, you’ll help me with this test.”
Talk about it: Was Charlotte right? Does true friendship really mean you’ll do whatever your friends ask, even when you know it’s wrong? Why—or why not?
This can be a hard truth for some of your friends to hear: True friends don’t always do what their friends want them to do.
So how do you know the right way to treat your friends?
Well, you can keep looking to God’s standards for friendships. You don’t have to wonder if his standards are true because they are based upon God himself—his character and nature. God’s standards of right and wrong are true at all times in all places for all people. The standards don’t change because your friends think they should.
Sometimes that might mean you can’t do what your friends want. But there’s good news: When God says something is right, you can count on it to bring his good into your life—sometimes later, often sooner.
Next time you have a question about how to be a true friend, look to God’s Word. You will discover that honesty is always right in your friendships because God is a true God—who is always honest. Friendship based on being honest and truthful is always right even if you lose a “friend” or two in the process. And when you let God be the model for your friendships, you’ll be sure to make friendships that last.
TALK: Why would you want to handle your friendships according to God’s standards of right and wrong?
PRAY: Lord, help us not to give in when our friends want things that aren’t what you want. Help us encourage them to seek God’s best in their lives.
ACT: Have certain friends been causing you to give up your standards—getting you to do things you know are wrong? How are you going to break that bad habit today?