LOVE INVITES LOVE; HATRED REPELS LOVE.
Bible Reading of the Day: Read Galatians 5:13-15.
Verse of the Day: “Continue to love each other with true Christian love” (Hebrews 13:1).
“Dad! Dad, look at this one! He’s so cute!” After weeks of pleading, Margie had finally convinced her dad that she was ready to take care of a puppy. He had taken her to the animal shelter to see if they could find a dog to adopt.
Margie pointed to a sandy brown-and-white pup in a cage. “Isn’t he precious?” she cooed.
“Yes, he is,” Dad answered, “except that one’s a ‘she,’ not a ‘he.’” Margie poked her fingers through the cage and petted the puppy’s long, curling hair. “What about that one?” Dad asked. He pointed to another puppy in the cage. “I think he’s even prettier than that one.”
Margie shook her head. “I don’t like him as much,” she said.
Dad’s eyes gleamed with wisdom. “Why not?”
“Because,” she said, hesitating. “Because I’ve been watching him. Look at him,” she said, pointing as the animal snarled at the puppy next to him. “He keeps growling at the other two and pushing them out of the way. He seems kinda . . . kinda mean, you know?”
Dad nodded. “Yes,” he said, “I think you’re right.” They stayed for a few moments and looked at other dogs, but when they left the animal shelter, Margie cradled the sandy pup in her arms.
“I think you made a good choice,” Dad said. He patted the dog’s head. As they got into the car and started the long drive home, Dad turned the conversation into a new area. “You know, Margie, I think those puppies at the shelter have something to teach us today. You chose this puppy because she seemed more loving and good-natured than that black-and-white one, didn’t you?”
Margie nodded. “He was kinda mean,” she said.
“But he really wanted your attention,” Dad suggested.
“Yeah, but he was mean to the other dogs,” Margie said.
“So this puppy got what that other puppy wanted because she seemed more loving?”
“Yeah,” Margie said. “I guess that’s the way love works, isn’t it, Dad? I mean, when people are mean and stuff, it’s usually because they want something. But mean and hateful people end up not getting what they want. But loving people-and puppies-they usually end up a lot better off, don’t you think?”
Dad smiled. “I think,” he said, nodding, “that’s exactly what I think.”
TO DISCUSS: What do you think about what Margie said? Do you agree? Disagree? Why? How do you show your belief that loving actions and attitudes are better than mean and hateful actions and attitudes?
TO PRAY: “Gracious God, you command us to love others. Lord, by your grace, we can show genuine compassion and love.”