EVEN YOUR FRIENDS CAN TRIP YOU UP.
Bible Reading of the Day: Read Proverbs 13:14-20.
Verse of the Day: “He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm” (Proverbs 13:20, NIV).
“I don’t see why you won’t let me hang around with Shannon,” Cindy protested. She folded her arms and stared at her empty dinner plate. “Why do you hate her so much?”
“We don’t hate her at all,” Dad replied calmly. “But Shannon doesn’t always make the wisest decisions.”
“And we don’t want her to influence your decisions,” Mom added.
“She won’t,” Cindy insisted. “I don’t always do everything she says.”
“That’s good,” Dad said, “but we still think the wisest thing is for you not to be around her as much.”
Cindy said nothing for the next few moments. Finally, she asked to be excused from the table. Her parents agreed.
Cindy picked up her dinner plate and silverware from the dining-room table to take them to the kitchen sink. She turned and took several strides toward the kitchen.
Buster, the family dog, roused from his station beside Cindy’s chair when she got up and followed her into the kitchen. At the kitchen door, however, Buster tried to dash ahead and got tangled up in Cindy’s legs. Buster let out a pained yelp. Cindy lost her balance, let out a shocked cry, and tumbled to the floor.
Mom and Dad jumped up from the table and ran to the kitchen door. Cindy lay on the floor next to her scattered silverware and upturned plate. Buster had already sought sanctuary under the kitchen table.
“Cindy!” Mom cried. “Are you all right?”
Cindy rubbed her elbow. She nodded. “I think I just scraped my elbow.”
Dad looked at her arm. He nodded. “Nothing serious. Does it hurt?” he asked.
“No, I’m OK,” Cindy said. “Really. Buster just got between my legs and tripped me up.” She called to Buster, who ran to her arms and licked her face. “He didn’t mean to hurt me.”
Cindy suddenly looked from her dad’s face to her mom’s.
“I guess that’s kinda like me and Shannon, isn’t it?” Cindy said. Mom and Dad listened attentively. “She doesn’t mean to hurt me, but-but I guess even your friends can trip you up sometimes, huh?”
Mom nodded. “That’s why you have to be careful where you walk.”
“And who you walk with,” Dad said. He patted Buster on the head and then helped Cindy get back up on her feet.
TO DISCUSS: Do you have any friends that sometimes “trip you up” by their bad influence? Are you ever a bad influence on your friends? How can you be more careful in the future to avoid tripping up your friends or to avoid letting them trip you up?
TO PRAY: “Lord, we don’t want to be bad influences on our friends; nor do we want to be ‘tripped up’ by a friend’s bad advice. Help us to make wise choices.”