The Reading Couch
RESPECT FOR GOD IS RIGHT.
Bible Reading of the Day: Read Ecclesiastes 12:1, 13-14.
Verse of the Day: “Fear God and obey his commands, for this is the duty of every person” (Ecclesiastes 12:13).
Cora and Alan sat in the “Reading Corner” of their classroom at their Christian school. Each of them had earned “quiet reading time” by helping the teacher pass out papers and clean up the classroom. Now they sat on opposite ends of an old soft couch, each reading the same book.
Suddenly Alan lowered the book and said God as if it were a cussword. Then he said, “You won’t believe what happens in chapter six!”
Cora’s mouth hung open for a moment. “I’ve already read chapter six,” she said, then added, “and you shouldn’t say that!”
“Say what?” Alan asked.
“You just said God!”
“So? You did too.”
“Not like you said it. You said it like a cussword.”
“Oh,” Alan said, rolling his eyes, “what’s wrong with that? God can’t be a bad word!”
“It’s the way you said it that was bad,” Cora said.
“Why?” Alan asked defiantly. “What’s wrong with what I said?”
“Well,” Cora started, then stopped, unsure of what to say next.
“Do you mind if I answer that question?” Mrs. Evans, their teacher, had suddenly appeared behind the couch. She knelt on the floor and propped her forearms and chin against the padded back of the couch. She looked back and forth from Alan to Cora.
“Go ahead, Mrs. Evans,” Cora said.
The teacher smiled. “I think you’re right, Cora,” she said. “And I think you’re right too, Alan.”
“How can we both be right?” Alan asked.
“Well,” Mrs. Evans said, looking at Alan, “you’re right that the word God is not a bad word. It’s one of the names we use for our very good and holy God.”
Alan looked at Cora, jutting his chin in her direction as if to say, “Take that!” “But Cora is right too,” the teacher added, without taking her eyes off Alan. “The way you used that word is not very respectful. The Bible tells us that we should always be respectful toward God.”
Cora smiled. “That’s what I would have said,” she announced. Mrs. Evans smiled and stood. “I thought so,” she said.
TO DISCUSS: Are you respectful to God in the way you use his name? Are there other ways to show your respect for God? Name some. How can you show respect for God today?
TO PRAY: “Lord God, we’re sorry about the times when we used your name in ways that are disrespectful. May your name be praised as you deserve.”