Facts and Feeling
RIGHT AND WRONG ARE NOT DETERMINED BY FEELINGS.
Bible Reading of the Day: Read 1 Corinthians 13:4-13.
Verse of the Day: “Lord, let your constant love surround us, for our hopes are in you alone” (Psalm 33:22, TLB).
Mom lifted her gaze from the newspaper to her daughter, who sat at the kitchen counter eating a bowl of Fruit Flakes cereal. “Tara,” she said, “doesn’t your friend Janet live on Morgan Street?”
“She’s not my friend anymore,” Tara mumbled.
Mom repeated her question. “Doesn’t her family live on Morgan Street?”
Tara shrugged. “Yeah,” she answered. “Why?”
“There was a fire on Morgan Street last night,” Mom explained, laying the paper down on the counter. “Two families were burned out of their homes.” “Did anybody die?” Tara asked.
“No, everybody got out in time. But one of the families was named Turner.”
“That’s Janet’s family,” Tara said. “It’s got to be.”
Mom shook her head sadly. “We should find out what we can do to help. I’m sure we have extra blankets and clothing and things they could use. The paper says the house was a total loss.”
“Do we have to?” Tara asked.
Mom looked at her daughter with confusion in her expression. “What do you mean?”
Tara sighed. “It’s just that Janet’s been really cruel to me and my friends this year at school, and . . . well, I just don’t feel like helping her, that’s all.”
Mom nodded solemnly. “I’m sorry to hear she’s been cruel to you,” she said, her voice soft. “I guess I can understand your feelings. But feelings don’t determine what’s right or wrong, Tara. God does.”
“You mean, even though she’s been cruel to me and my friends all year, I still have to … like … be all loving to her?”
“Only if you want to do the right thing,” Mom answered.
“Whether I feel like it or not,” Tara said flatly.
“Whether you feel like it or not,” Mom answered. “Because, like I said, feelings don’t determine what’s right or wrong-”
“Yeah, I know,” Tara interrupted. “God does.” She took a final bite of Fruit Flakes and stood. “I guess I’ve got some T-shirts and sweaters I could bag up for Janet.”
Mom took her daughter’s cereal bowl and placed it in the sink. “I knew you’d do the right thing,” she said.
TO DISCUSS: Do you think it was easy for Tara to decide to help Janet’s family? Why or why not? What determines right and wrong? Do your feelings sometimes make it harder to choose right? Should you choose right anyway, even when it’s hard?
TO PRAY: “Our feelings sometimes lead us to take the easy way out when it comes to showing love to people we don’t like. Give us your strength, Lord, to do right.”