ACTING JUSTLY PROTECTS US FROM REVENGE AND PROMOTES PEACE.
Bible Reading of the Day: Read 1 Peter 3:8-11.
Verse of the Day: “Don’t retaliate when people say unkind things about you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing” (1 Peter 3:9).
Renee drew her fist back and prepared to slug Sara. She straddled Sara, who lay on her back on the school playground, her fingers entwined in Renee’s hair.
“Stop that right now, you two!” Mrs. Knight peeled the girls apart and stood them up, one at the end of each arm. “What’s the meaning of this?”
“She started it!” Sara said. “She charged me a dollar for a candy bar!”
“What?” the teacher said, her face showing her confusion.
Sara rolled her eyes and sighed. “Renee was selling candy bars to raise money for the class,” she explained. “So I came to buy one-” Sara glared at Renee-“and she told me they were a dollar. So I bought one.”
Mrs. Knight nodded. “1 still don’t see what started the fight.”
“After I ate my candy bar, I found out they were really only fifty cents-she just charged me a dollar to be mean.”
“I see,” Mrs. Knight said, glancing from Sara to Renee. “So you decided to get even.”
“Well, I’d say you both made some pretty poor decisions.” She turned to Renee. “Renee, if you had treated Sara fairly, this wouldn’t have happened. When you treat people unfairly, you shouldn’t be too surprised if they get mad and try to get even.” She paused. “As it is, you not only owe Sara fifty cents, you’re going to have to stay after school for a few days.”
Mrs. Knight turned to Sara. “And Sara, you may have been treated unfairly, but you were wrong to start a fight with Renee. You’ll be staying after school, too. And I’ll have to have a talk with your parents and Renee’s parents.”
Mrs. Knight continued. “I think you can both figure out how you should have handled this differently,” she suggested.
“I should have charged Sara what I charged everyone else,” Renee said. “I’m sorry, Sara.”
“I’m sorry too, Renee…. And I should have told you,” Sara said to Mrs. Knight, “instead of starting a fight.”
“Very good,” Mrs. Knight said. She placed a hand on each girl’s shoulder. “I don’t know about you two, but I’m in the mood for a candy bar.”
“Not me!” Sara answered.
“Me, neither!” Renee said.
TO DISCUSS: How could Renee have protected herself by choosing to do what was right? How can acting justly protect you from revenge? How might acting justly provide for more peaceful relationships with other people?
TO PRAY: “Lord, we desire peaceful relationships with others. When people treat us unfairly, help us not to take revenge. Instead, lead us to honor you by our actions.”