As the kids are getting ready to head back to school, they are going to encounter some common situations faced by everyone when growing up, and those are issues with friends, fitting in, cliques, etc. In today’s devotional, we are talking about losing friends, and the feelings of revenge and loyalty that go along with it all!
“Jana Can’t Quite Help Herself” – A Devotional on Revenge, Losing Friends and Loyalty
Jana and Marlee were best friends since kindergarten. But in sixth grade Marlee changed. She lost her shyness, grew four inches, had her braces removed, and switched lunch tables. Jana felt horrible.
It’s not that Marlee had turned mean; she was just indifferent and popped past Jana in the school corridors with barely a smile, rarely a word.
Jana overheard their moms on the phone discussing how relieved Marlee’s mom was that Marlee’s bed-wetting had finally stopped. While they were friends, Jana had merely shrugged over the bed wetting situation. If Marlee slept over, Jana’s mom merely put a pad under the sheet of the twin bed, and the girls forgot about it. Now, it occurs to Jana that she could really take Marlee down a peg by whispering the problem in a few key ears. She knows it’s wrong, but Marlee dropped her like a hot potato once cooler kids sucked up to her. Jana could pretend it was a “slip.” People had even said to her that Marlee was being unfair to her. While she hasn’t acted, the thought is almost irresistible.
Scriptures to help Jana decide what to do: Proverbs 18:8, 1 Peter 5:6, Psalm 69:4
Jana should (rate the answers; the best answer would be #1; the least likely answer #4)
___ repeat the bed-wetting and not be a hypocrite by pretending it was a slip. One bad turn deserves another.
___ keep it to herself and just bite the bullet. That’s what being a Christian is all about.
___ keep it to herself and try to work on her own self-esteem issues. Once she has great new friends, her ill feelings toward Marlee will take care of themselves.
___ repeat the bed-wetting and make it look like a slip. Everyone would think it was justice, even if they didn’t believe it was a slip.
It is typical for kids to switch crowds and “try new flavors” in middle school, which isn’t to say that it doesn’t hurt those who feel left behind. The Old Testament does say, “An eye for an eye.” But Jesus said in Matthew 5, “Resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.” It sounds painful, but Christianity is not painful – sin is. Jana is consumed with jealousy, which is hurting her more than anything. Second, the temptation of ruining Marlee might be enjoyable on the surface, but underneath, it is eating Jana alive.
The apostle Paul wasn’t trying to drive us mad when he said, “whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable”¦think about such things” (Philippians 4:8). He is trying to keep us from ruining our health through hatred, or by trying to control things that are out of our hands. Rather than judging Marlee, Jana would do better to set her sights on nice new friends. By fixating on who she likes rather than on who she doesn’t like, she’ll shift to having positive energy. People are drawn to those who truly like them. She may end up with five new friends, and who knows”¦maybe the attitude adjustment will bring Marlee back around.
Most Christian Response:
Jana should (3rd option is best): keep it to herself and try to work on her own self-esteem issues. Once she has great new friends, her ill feelings toward Marlee will take care of themselves.
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