Bible Reading of the Day: Read Isaiah 7:13-16.

Verse of the Day: “This is what the Lord says: Do what is just and right” (Jeremiah 22:3, NIV).

Cody held his baby cousin, Alissa. The tiny infant cooed happily. “She’s a good baby,” he told his proud Uncle Dan.

Suddenly, however, Alissa’s tiny hand gripped Cody’s glasses and yanked them off his face. Before he had time to react, she released them and they flipped onto the floor, bending the frames and shattering one of the lenses.

Cody’s face registered surprise, and he swiped at Alissa’s hand as if to slap it. “Bad girl,” he said.

Uncle Dan bent over, picked up Cody’s glasses, and handed them to him. “We’ll get those fixed,” he said softly, “but you don’t need to hit Alissa. She doesn’t know what she did.”

“She doesn’t?” Cody said. He still held Alissa.

Uncle Dan smiled. “Her fingers just happened to close around your glasses, Cody. She has no idea that she just cost me a lot of money!”

“But if I did something like that,” Cody countered, “I’d get in trouble.”

Uncle Dan nodded and chuckled softly. “You’re right, you would, because you’re older than Alissa. You’re old enough to know better.”

Cody handed the baby back to her father.

“You see,” Uncle Dan continued as he took Alissa into his arms, “babies aren’t old enough to know right from wrong. But when they get a little older, they begin to understand that some things are right and some things are wrong.”

“How?” Cody asked.

Uncle Dan thought. “Some of it is instinctive, because we’re all made in the image of God. No one has to tell a two year old that it’s unfair for another child to take a toy away from her. But it’s a parent’s job to add to that basic knowledge about right and wrong. A parent can help even a young child begin to choose what’s right and stay away from what’s wrong.”

“Alissa didn’t mean to break my glasses,” Cody said, as if he’d just thought of the idea, “because she’s too young to know she shouldn’t do that.”

“Right,” Uncle Dan said. He winked. “But if she does it when she’s your age, I’ll have to have a talk with her.”

“Right,” Cody said. “Because then she’ll be old enough to know better. Like me!”

TO DISCUSS: What does the phrase “old enough to know better” mean? When is a person “old enough to know better”? What is a child “old enough to know” by age 2? 3? 4? 7? 9? What spiritual truths are we “old enough to know” at any age?

TO PRAY: “Lord, those of us who are ‘old enough to know better’ still need your help to know the difference between right and wrong. Thank you for providing that help.”