All in the Family
GOD COMMANDS US TO BE KIND TO OTHERS.
Bible Reading of the Day: Read Colossians 3:12-15.
Verse of the Day: “For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith . . . brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love” (2 Peter 1:5-7, NIV).
“Hey, dork!” Josh said as he walked into the garage and saw his little brother, Tad, leaning over his bicycle. He reached out a hand as he walked past Tad and slapped his little brother’s head.
Tad dropped the wrench he was using to tighten his bicycle chain and rubbed his head. “That hurt!” he said.
“Duh!” Josh responded. “It was supposed to hurt.” He kept walking through the garage, entered the house, and walked to the refrigerator.
A few moments later, Mom walked into the kitchen through the garage door. She saw Josh standing in front of the refrigerator, peeling the wrapper off a Popsicle. She sat down at the kitchen table and studied Josh for a few moments.
“What’s wrong?” Josh asked, when he noticed his mom watching him.
“I was just wondering where you learned to treat your brother that way,” Mom said. “I was weeding the garden. I saw what you did and heard what you said.”
A guilty look surfaced on Josh’s face.
“How can you be so unkind to your brother?” Mom asked.
“He’s my brother, Mom,” Josh said, a defensive tone in his voice.
“So, you’re telling me it’s OK to be unkind to people in your own family?”
“No,” Josh said.
“Good,” Mom said. “Because I know that’s not true. God commands us to be kind to each other, but he doesn’t say ‘except for little brothers’”
“I’m sorry,” Josh said. He hung his head, and his hair covered his eyes.
Mom took his chin gently in her hand and lifted his face until his eyes met hers. Her voice softened. “Josh, a Christian family isn’t a place where we can ignore God’s commands; it’s a place where we can practice them. If we can get good at following God in our own family, we’ll be better at following him out in the world.”
Josh nodded. “I’m sorry,” he repeated. “I’ll try to be kinder to Tad.”
Mom smiled. She nodded toward the garage door. “There’s a little boy out in the garage who’s trying to fix his bike,” she said.
A small smile creased Josh’s face. “I bet he could use some help, huh?”
“I bet he could,” Mom said.
TO DISCUSS: God commands us to be kind to “each other” and to “everyone else.” Who do you think is included in those two phrases? Can you think of anyone those phrases (“each other” and “everyone else”) don’t include? What are some of the ways we can be kind to the people in our family?
TO PRAY: “Jesus, we want you to show your love and kindness through us.”