Gentle Ben – Today’s Family Devotion

Gentle Ben


Bible Reading of the Day: Read Philippians 4:5-7.

Verse of the Day: “When the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23).

Ben lined up at the starting line for the last race of the day at his class picnic. He had been in several races but had not won any of the events all day. He was determined to win this race. He eyed the finish line and prepared for the signal.

At last, Mr. Morrison shouted, “Go!” and Ben started running.

He and Todd Weston were in the lead. Ben panted toward the finish line. Suddenly, Todd let out a pained cry and dropped to the ground in a heap.

It all happened so fast. Ben saw Todd crumple to the ground. Ben quickly turned back toward Todd, who lay flat on his back, his face twisted with pain.

Ben knelt beside Todd and placed his hand gently on Todd’s shoulder. “What’s wrong?” he asked. “What happened?”

“It hurts!” Todd said through gritted teeth.

Mr. Morrison and other adults soon arrived. When more people arrived, Ben stepped back from the crowd and watched as Todd was helped to a car and taken away.

Ben felt a hand on his shoulder and heard his father’s voice. “I think he’ll be all right,” Dad said. “It looks like he pulled a muscle. That can be pretty painful, but it’s not serious.”

Ben nodded. His dad walked beside him toward the picnic tables. “I was proud of you today, Ben,” Dad said.

Ben looked at his father’s face, then dropped his gaze to the ground. “I didn’t win anything.”

“Yes, you did,” Dad answered. “You won my respect. I’ve never been more proud than when I saw you stop running and help your friend.”

Ben said nothing, but lifted his gaze to his dad’s face again.

“You showed me two things today,” Dad said. “You showed maturity in putting Todd’s pain ahead of your race. That kind of thoughtfulness and gentleness is rare.”

They arrived at their picnic table. Dad sat down and fished in the ice chest for a can of soda.

“You said I showed you two things,” Ben said. “What was the other thing?” Dad answered, “Oh, yeah. You showed me more speed than I thought you had.” He smiled broadly. “You would have won that race.”

Ben smiled back at his father. “Yeah,” he said. “I would have, wouldn’t I?”

TO DO: Reward gentleness over the next few days by placing a feather or a flower by the dinner plate of a family member who has exhibited gentleness..

TO PRAY: “Lord, remind us to be gentle in the way that we treat others.”