By Greg Johnson
Your Sunday school class is planning a Saturday hike up in the mountains. Though you don’t know the kids in your class very well, you are actually looking forward to it. Neither Mom nor Dad can go, so it is sort of a day to be on your own.
When you arrive at the church to head up into the hills, you look for someone to hang out with. You know the names of most of the kids but you haven’t really spent much time with them outside of class.
Three older kids you normally get along with get into the bus last, so you follow them in, hoping you can sit next to them. They head for the back of the bus and sprawl out on the back seat like they are going to take a nap.
“Could I sit with you?” you ask.
“I don’t know if there’s enough room. Hey, where’d you get that T-shirt?” one of them asks.
“I think my mom got it at a Christian bookstore.”
“Hey, what do you think of someone who wears a T-shirt that says ‘Apostle Paul’s Travel Service’ on it?”
“And I suppose your mom cut your hair, too?” another says.
Hmmm. You hadn’t expected anyone to say stuff like this. Maybe they’re having a bad day.
“Hey, sit down,” one of the adult leaders says.
As you sit down, you suddenly get a bad feeling about this. You think you probably should have taken one of the open seats at the front of the bus. As the ride progresses, you know your feelings were right. For the rest of the forty-five-minute trip, these “friends” don’t let up. Every time you open your mouth to defend yourself, they find another way to put you down. Needless to say, it’s a very long trip.
Questions to Think On
• Have you ever been put down before? How did it make you feel?
• Have you ever put someone else down? Why? Did you think about how it made the other person feel? How could you handle a situation like this?
• Mom and Dad: Why do you think people put others down? What are they trying to accomplish?
What Does God Have to Say?
Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city. Proverbs 16:32
A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense. Proverbs 19:11