Bible Reading of the Day: Read Psalm 1.

Verse of the Day: “For the Lord watches over the path of the godly, but the path of the wicked leads to destruction” (Psalm 1:6).

Joe, Nick, and Daniel headed off the ice-skating rink. They were among the last to leave the rink, and only a few girls were around, gathered together at the other end of the building. As they took off their skates and put on their shoes, the boys talked about the evening.

“It sure was fun learning to skate backwards,” Joe said. “Thanks for teaching me, Daniel.”

“No problem,” Daniel answered. “Once you get the hang of it, you can really have fun.”

“Hey, look over there.” Nick pointed to a bench nearby. He looked around. “Someone left their skates. Those look sweet!”

He leaped up from the bench and picked up the abandoned skates. “These are size 12,” he said. “What size do you guys wear?”

“That’s my size,” Daniel said. “They sure beat these old blades I have. Here, put them in my bag, and I’ll carry my skates out over my shoulder.”

“Uh, I don’t think so,” said Joe. “Those belong to someone. It would be wrong to take them.” The other boys looked at Joe with disbelief in their eyes. “What if you left something like that behind?” Joe reasoned. “You’d want it back. I think we ought to turn them in to the office.”

“Joe, you’re a real drag sometimes.” Daniel had the skates in his bag. “What are you worried about? No one is gonna find out. And anyway, you’re not the one taking them; I am. So butt out!”

“If you’re too good to hang with us,” Nick said with sarcasm, “maybe you just ought to find some other friends.”

“If you’re going to keep those, I’d better,” Joe answered. “Because when I tell the rink office what you’ve done, and they call the police, my parents won’t let me hang with you anymore.”

“OK, then, Mr. Goody-goody!” Daniel threw the skates at Joe, hitting him in the chest. “Turn them in, then, I don’t care. Just don’t expect to go anywhere with me again.” He and Nick walked away.

Joe sat on the bench alone, feeling mad and sad at the same time. He felt like he’d just lost something. But he felt like he had managed to hold on to something else.

TO DISCUSS: What do you think Joe lost? What do you think he held on to? Do you think it was easy for Joe to be honest? Why or why not? Should we be honest even when it’s hard? Why or why not?

TO PRAY: “When our friends reject us for doing what’s right, remind us, Lord, that you will never reject us.”