Bible Reading of the Day: Read Leviticus 19:1-2, 11.
Verse of the Day: "So put away all falsehood and 'tell your neighbor the truth'" (Ephesians 4:25).
Tiffany was standing by the sliding glass door to the small patio, looking outside, when Mom came into the room.
Tiffany whirled around and faced Mom with a guilty look.
Alerted by Tiffany's behavior, Mom realized that the family dog wasn't around.
"Where's Fluffles?" Mom asked.
"I don't know," Tiffany answered.
"Tiffany," Mom said slowly, "did you let Fluffles outside?"
Tiffany's voice was barely a whisper when she spoke. "No," she said.
Mom scooped Tiffany into her arms and sat down on one of the kitchen chairs, settling her daughter on her lap. She brushed a strand of Tiffany's hair out of her face. "Tiffany, do you remember yesterday afternoon when you and I were playing with your play kitchen set? You pretended to serve me lunch at your play table, and I pretended to eat? It was fun to play pretend, wasn't it?"
"But there's a difference between playing pretend and telling a lie. Do you know what the difference is?"
"Pretend is just for fun," Tiffany said. "But telling a lie is real."
Mom cocked her head to one side. "That's right," she said. "When you play pretend with someone, you both know it's pretend. But when you tell a lie, you're trying to fool someone and make the other person believe something that's not true." Mom brushed Tiffany's hair out of her face again. "There's nothing wrong with playing pretend, but God says not to tell lies. He says we should be honest and always tell the truth."
Tiffany turned her head and looked at the sliding door. "I didn't tell the truth, Mommy." Her eyes welled up with tears. "I opened the door and let Fluffles go outside."
"Thank you for Finally telling me the truth," Mom answered. "I'll tell you what; you go get Fluffles's leash, and we'll go look for her together."
Tiffany started to turn away, but Mom gripped her gently by the arm. "Do you think you can remember to play pretend with someone only when the other person knows you're pretending, and tell the truth the rest of the time?"
"OK," Tiffany said. "Let's pretend Fluffles is a pig, and we're trying to catch a pig!"
Mom laughed. "All right," she said. "If Fluffles has gotten into the neighbors' garbage, we may not have to pretend!"
TO DISCUSS: What's the difference between playing pretend and telling a lie? Is it OK to play pretend? Why or why not? Is it OK to tell a lie? Why or why not?
TO PRAY: "Guard us, Lord, against giving in to the impulse to lie."