Friendship and Gossip Devotional
A week before school started, Emily invited Kate to shop for school clothes. Once the two girls were at the mall, Kate confessed dejectedly, “Since my dad lost his job at the power plant, my mom says I can’t get school clothes this year. First time ever! I’ll be a thrift store dweeb, like–“ She named a couple of girls.
Emily realizes the awkward position she is in. Her budget is only half what it was last year, as her dad is saving in fear of losing his job too. Emily planned carefully to buy sneakers and just a few clothes. She can interchange them with stuff she has from last year.
She thinks her Sunday school teacher would tell her to make a sacrifice and buy something for a friend. But she didn’t like Kate’s “thrift store dweeb” comment. The girls Kate mentioned by name were really nice, and they had to do the thrift store routine last year because their dads were among the first to have jobs cut. Maybe Kate should learn not to be snobby before she gets a sacrifice from Emily.
Emily should (rate the answers; the best answer would be #1; the least likely answer #4):
- share with Kate. Even though Kate hasn’t outright asked Emily to share, sharing is always the right policy; the Bible says so.
- not share with Kate because Emily’s own dad could be out of work next, and soon she could be at the thrift store too.
- not share with Kate because she didn’t cause Kate’s problem and isn’t involved in it. Why should she make a sacrifice for something that has nothing to do with her?
- not share with Kate because the “thrift store dweeb” comment implies that she could learn a great lesson here. Emily should be kind and polite, but keep shopping for her own things.
Friendship and Gossip Discussion
One of Jesus’ most famous statements is, “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). It’s not always easy being a great friend, because a great friend allows friends to learn tough lessons – without being mean or judgmental. A great friend would not help stand in the way of Kate getting thrift store clothing, as Kate needs to learn some humility and mercy on the girls who don’t have great clothes. While the Bible does encourage us to share, withholding can sometimes be an even the more excellent path. If Emily and others give too heartily to a heartless person’s wardrobe, they may actually be “enabling” that person to keep a judgmental attitude.
Most Christian Response:
Emily should (4th option is best): not share with Kate because the “thrift store dweeb” comment implies that she could learn a great lesson here. Emily should be kind and polite, but keep shopping for her own things.
Do you think this Bible lesson would work in your children’s ministry classes? Why or why not? I’m interested in hearing some feedback from other children’s ministry leaders around the world…so be sure to leave a comment below!