THERE IS OFTEN A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A WRONG CHOICE AND A POOR CHOICE.
Bible Reading of the Day: Read Proverbs 10:19-21, 31-32.
Verse of the Day: “The godly speak words that are helpful, but the wicked speak only what is corrupt” (Proverbs 10:32).
Mom noticed that Min was in a bad mood when she came home from school, but she said nothing until after dinner, when Min was alone in her room.
“Is something wrong?” Mom asked as she entered Min’s room.
Min started crying. “Oh, Mom! Why do I have to have such a big mouth?”
“What do you mean?” Mom sat next to Min on the bed.
“Jackie told me she really liked my sweater. I felt embarrassed because Jackie always wears really nice clothes, and I couldn’t think of anything to say. So I just blurted out, ‘Oh, this old thing? I’ve got lots of sweaters that are even nicer than this!’ . . . Well, I didn’t realize until I’d said it that Hannah was standing there too!”
Mom nodded, but it was obvious to Min that her mom didn’t understand the importance of what she had just said.
“Mom,” she said, her voice quivering, “this sweater was a gift from Hannah!”
Mom’s eyes widened slightly and her mouth formed a silent “0.”
“I apologized as much as I could to Hannah, but I could tell her feelings were hurt. … I didn’t mean it!”
Mom wrapped her arms around Min and gently stroked her long black hair. “I know you didn’t,” she told Min. “We all make mistakes. But it’s a mistake you can learn from.”
Min sniffed and said nothing, but Mom could tell she was listening.
“You may not have made a wrong choice, like you would have if you had intended to hurt Hannah,” Mom said, “but you did make a poor choice. You see, Min, usually when we don’t know what to say, it’s better to say nothing … or, in your case today, to keep your words to a minimum.”
“I should have just said, ‘thank you,’ and nothing else, right?” Min offered. “If I had, I wouldn’t feel so bad right now.”
“You’re right,” Mom agreed. “But remember, there is sometimes a difference between a wrong choice and a poor choice. Wrong choices are always poor choices, but poor choices are not always sinful. You can’t help but regret how you made Hannah feel, but don’t feel guilty. What you said was a mistake, not a sin.”
Min wiped the tears from her cheeks. “Thanks, Mom,” she said. “I’m going to call Hannah and apologize for what I said. And from now on, I’m going to try to remember to keep my mouth shut when I don’t know what to say!”
TO DISCUSS: What could Min have done to prevent hurting Hannah’s feelings? Why is it important to think before speaking?
TO PRAY: “Lord, help us to avoid hurting others. But when we do make a mistake and hurt someone, help us to make things right.”