ACTING JUSTLY PLEASES GOD AND PROMOTES FRIENDSHIP.
Bible Reading of the Day: Read Jeremiah 7:5-7.
Verse of the Day: “Follow justice and justice alone” (Deuteronomy 16:20, NIV).
Paula and Lilly were jumping rope together on the sidewalk in front of Paula’s house when a girl whose family had just moved in down the block approached. Without speaking, the girl watched them play for a while. Paula, who had noticed her when she first approached, at last said, “Hi! Would you like to skip rope with us?”
The new girl nodded. When Paula asked her name, she answered shyly, “Faith.”
Lilly suggested that Faith should hold one end of each rope and Paula should hold the other ends so they could play Double Dutch. The two girls got into position and Lilly jumped between the rotating ropes.
“OK,” Lilly said after she had taken her turn, “you go next, Paula.”
Paula handed the ropes to Lilly and tried a few times, but she always seemed to get tangled up in the ropes right away.
“OK, OK,” said Lilly, “let me try again.” She held out the ropes to Paula.
“Wait a minute,” Paula said. “It should be Faith’s turn.”
“That’s OK,” Faith said.
“See?” Lilly said and extended the ropes in Paula’s direction again. “No,” Paula said. Then she turned to Faith. “Go ahead,” she said softly. She took the ends of the ropes out of Faith’s hands. Smiling shyly, Faith waited until Lilly and Paula were turning the ropes, and she jumped between them and moved her feet up and down and back and forth with more skill than either of her new friends. Before long, Paula and Lilly were laughing with excitement and cheering Faith’s skill.
Later that evening, Dad came into Paula’s room as she was listening to music. “I saw what you did this afternoon,” he said. He explained that he had been watching from the window when Paula had insisted that Faith get a turn. “I’m sure it pleased God that you made sure the new girl was treated fairly. The Bible says that God loves righteousness and justice, and you acted justly today.”
Paula smiled. “I think Faith and I are going to be friends.” Dad stood to leave. “Good. That’s another reward for being fair. So you pleased God and made a new friend by treating someone else fairly. Not bad.” “I can think of another reward for being fair,” Paula suggested. “What’s that?” Dad asked. “I made you happy too, didn’t I?”
Dad smiled and wrapped his daughter in a big hug. “You sure did,” he said.
TO DISCUSS: Have you treated others fairly today (or this week)? If so, how? Do you think your action pleased God? Did it please anyone else? Did your actions start or strengthen a friendship? Can you think of any other reward your action produced?
TO PRAY: “Holy Spirit, please show us how to be fair to others.”