Fairness and Friendship
GOD COMMANDS JUSTICE BECAUSE HE VALUES JUSTICE.
Bible Reading of the Day: Read Genesis 18:18-19.
Verse of the Day: “Follow justice and justice alone” (Deuteronomy 16:20, NIV).
“Hey, Dad, can I invite Jon and Alex over to spend the night tomorrow night?” Andre asked his father, who was on their small back porch grilling dinner.
Dad thought for a moment, then answered with a shrug. “Sure,” he said. “What about Ben?”
Andre wrinkled his nose. “I don’t think I should invite him.” “Why not?” Dad asked.
“Well,” Andre said, speaking slowly. “He doesn’t get along with everybody as well as Jon and Alex and I do.” “Oh?” Dad said.
“He’s always trying to be first at everything,” Andre explained, “and sometimes he cheats at games—stuff like that.”
Dad nodded slowly. He flipped a sizzling hamburger over. “I guess I understand that,” he said.
Father and son stood together in silence for a few moments as a light breeze blew the smoke from the grill away from them. Finally, Dad broke the silence. “You really value your friendships with Alex and Jon, don’t you?”
“Well, yeah,” Andre said. “They’re cool.”
“Why?” Dad asked.
“Well . . . because . . . because they like most of the things I do.” “Like fairness?” Dad asked.
Andre looked sideways at his dad, as if surprised by the question. “Yeah,” he said. “1 guess so.”
Dad nodded. “Good. Fairness is a good thing to value in a friend.” He flipped another burger. “That’s one of the things God valued in his friend Abraham.”
Flames started to leap through the coals. Dad grabbed a plastic water bottle on the table next to him and squirted water into the flames until they disappeared.
“I think,” Dad continued, “that was one of the reasons God chose Abraham to become the father of the nation of Israel. He recognized in Abraham a friend who valued many of the same things he did.” Dad waved his long-handled spatula around in the air to emphasize his words. “God values justice, Andre. That’s why he commands us to be fair and just with each other.” He paused for a moment. “I think it’s good that you value fairness—and that you value friends who share that value.”
TO DISCUSS: Do you like to be treated fairly or unfairly? Do you know anyone who likes to be treated unfairly? Do your friends value fairness? How do you know? Why do you think God commands us to treat others fairly? Do you treat others fairly?
TO PRAY: “Help us, heavenly Father, to treat others fairly.”