Bible Reading: Luke 6:32-35
Love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Luke 6:35, NIV
YOU PROBABLY KNOW that, in baseball, an umpire decides which pitches are balls and which are strikes, right? But what about other sports? For example, who decides whether a ball is “in bounds” or “out of bounds” in tennis? Who’s in charge of deciding whether or not a punch is a “low blow” in boxing? Take a look at the following lists. See if you can match the sport with the official who “makes the calls.”
|1. Soccer||A. Umpire|
|2. Diving||B. Line judge|
|3. Rugby||C. Steward|
|4. Horse racing||D. Referee|
|5. Tennis||E. Judge|
|6. Fencing||F. Touch Judge|
|7. Cricket||G. Chief official|
Finished? OK, let’s see how you did. Let’s begin at the top of the list of sports. In soccer, the referee (aided by linesmen) makes the calls and keeps the game fair. In diving, a panel of judges rate each diver’s performance. A touch judge is one of the officials in a rugby match. In horse racing, a steward decides whether to disqualify any horses or jockeys. In tennis, a line judge rules balls “in” or “out.” In fencing, a chief official watches carefully to make sure everyone plays by the rules. And in cricket, an umpire is in charge of the game.
Interesting, isn’t it? All those different sports have a person (or persons) who decides what’s “fair” or “foul,” what’s “in” or “out,” what’s “good” or “bad.” The athletes themselves don’t make those decisions—a referee, judge, umpire, line judge, official, or steward does.
It’s the same in life. We’re not the ones who decide whether something is true or not. Take kindness, for example. You may say, “Hey, kindness is evil,” “Kindness is bad,” or “I don’t have to be kind.” But that doesn’t change the fact that kindness is right. Why? Because you don’t decide such things—God does. And he makes it pretty clear that kindness—even kindness toward your enemies—is good!
REFLECT: How do you know that showing kindness toward others is right? Do you think showing kindness to your enemies or to someone you don’t know is right? Why? (Hint: Look back at today’s Bible reading.) Why do you think God wants you to be kind to people who are mean to you?
PRAY: “God, it’s not always easy to be kind to others. But help me to always remember that it’s right. Help me to be kind, even toward people I don’t know or people who aren’t very kind to me, like____________.”