Big Problems – Today’s Family Devotion

Big Problems

Bible Reading: Colossians 4:2-6

Let your conversation be gracious and effective so that you will have the right answer for everyone.   Colossians 4:6

Maggie’s dad walked softly down the stairs to the family room where Maggie and her mom were both reading on the couch. “Andrew finally fell asleep,” he sighed.

Maggie nervously cleared her throat. Her parents turned to look at her.

“What’s up?” her dad asked.

Maggie said, “I’m really worried about a friend.”

“Who is it?” her mom asked.

“Do you remember Brenda Dunnigan? She was in my kindergarten class. She’s in my language class this year. She’s acting strange.”

“Is Brenda in some kind of trouble?” her dad asked.

Maggie started to cry. “I don’t know for sure. But I know her situation at home is really awful. I wonder if she’s thinking about running away.”

There are some problems that are far too big to deal with on your own.

Maybe, like Maggie, you’ve noticed behavior in a friend that disturbs you. Maybe you saw something. Or heard something. Or just suspect something. Things like

• long stretches of sadness

• out-of-control anger

• a lot of talk about death

• misuse of drugs, alcohol, or other substances

• signs of physical or sexual abuse

• threats to hurt teachers, classmates, or anyone else

Even if you can’t quite figure out what’s wrong with your friend, you can’t shrug off your concern. Whenever a friend might be facing one of those big dangers, you must talk with an adult you trust about the problem. You can bring up your concern to your parents, teacher, school counselor or principal, or pastor. That’s not being a tattletale. You might be the only person who can get your friend help. And you aren’t accusing your friend of anything. You’re just raising a concern to an adult who can decide if a problem is real—and how to deal with it.

If you ever think something might be hugely wrong in a friend’s life, it’s time to do something to help. Speak up! Immediately!

TALK: What situations that your friends might face would you always tell an adult about?

PRAY: Jesus, show us how to help our hurting friends. We want to point to you as the solution to their problems.

ACT: Agree as a family to talk about problems that are too big for one person to handle.