PERSEVERANCE PRODUCES MATURITY.
Bible Reading of the Day: Read James 1:2-4, 12.
Verse of the Day: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance” (James 1:2-3 NIV).
“Don’t pay any attention to them,” Chrissy told the girl in the wheelchair. She glared at the group of kids in the corner of the cafeteria who had been making fun of the new girl. “Just because this is a Christian school doesn’t mean the kids are all Christians.”
The girl smiled. “Oh, I know!” she said. “By the way, my name’s Janice.”
“I’m Chrissy.” Chrissy walked down the hallway beside her new friend. “It must be hard being in that wheelchair all the time,” she said.
Janice shrugged. “Sometimes. I’ve gotten used to it.”
“How long have you been, you know, in the wheelchair?”
“Since I was little. I’ve got a bone disease,” Janice answered.
“That’s too bad,” Chrissy said. They continued down the hallway, slowly. She’s so nice, Chrissy thought. And normal. She thought of the kids who had made fun of Janice in the cafeteria. “Do kids make fun of you a lot?”
Janice shook her head. “Not too much. Mostly they avoid me, like they’re afraid to look at me or talk to me. But that doesn’t bother me too much. … I mean, I’d probably be just like them if I weren’t in a wheelchair.”
They had arrived at Janice’s classroom. Janice nodded toward the room. “I’m going to get ready for my next class,” she said. “Thanks for walking with me.”
Chrissy smiled and turned toward her own room. “Sure,” she said. “See you later.” As she walked down the hall, she saw Mr. Sanders, one of her teachers.
“I see you’ve met Janice,” Mr. Sanders said.
Chrissy smiled. “Yeah,” she said. “She’s pretty cool.”
“She is, isn’t she?” Mr. Sanders said.
“Yeah,” Chrissy answerd. “She seems so … I don’t know, grown up for her age.”
Mr. Sanders nodded. “She’s had to do a lot of growing up because of her handicap. She’s been through a lot of tough times, things that would shatter a lot of people’s faith. But she’s stood up under it really well, and I think it’s made her more mature than a lot of kids her age.”
“Yeah,” Chrissy said, a hint of admiration in her voice. “I hope some of her rubs off on me.”
TO DISCUSS: Why do you think Chrissy admired Janice? Do you think Janice’s perseverance had anything to do with her maturity? If so, how? The Bible says perseverance will make you “mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:4, NIV). What do you think that means? Has your faith ever been tested? If so, tell about it. What should we do when our faith is tested?
TO PRAY: “Lord, help us to persevere toward maturity in Christ.”