By Greg Johnson
You have three friends with whom you spend all of your time at school—and after. The whole school year you’ve been inseparable. Whenever you’re on the playground at recess, all four of you are doing something: soccer, football, swinging from the monkey bars, making up imaginary games, all sorts of stuff.
As you’re heading home from school one day with two of these friends, they start talking about the friend who isn’t there.
“He’s getting to be a real dweeb,” says one.
“I know, he’s saying stupid stuff to girls, and all he talks about is sports,” says the other.
“Who are you talking about?” you say.
“Tim, of course. Haven’t you been listening to all of the dumb stuff he’s been saying lately?”
“No, like what?” you question.
“Like talking about girls all the time and wanting to go chase them. He even suggested we call up girls and hang up on them after they come to the phone. He’s a jerk.”
“Plus, he thinks he’s really hot in sports. We’ve talked it over. What do you think, is it time to quit playing with him?”
“You mean, just ignore him, like he’s not even there? Not call him anymore or go over to his house?”
“Yeah,” they both say at the same time.
“Wait a minute. Tim’s been our friend for a long time. Have you even talked to him about what he’s doing?”
“I say we need to give the guy a chance. Maybe we can all talk to him and tell him where he’s messing up. I think he’ll listen.”
“I don’t . . . not at all. He’s too stuck on himself. I say let’s leave him in the dust.”
“I can’t believe you guys are thinking this way,” you say. “Doesn’t the guy deserve a second chance? Wouldn’t you want to be told something if it were you acting weird?”
“Maybe, but it’s too late. I can hardly even stand being around the guy.”
“And maybe you need to decide what group you’re going to be in,” your other friend says.
“Maybe I do.”
Questions to Think On
• Have you ever had to choose between friends? What did you do?
• How important is loyalty in a friendship?
• If you were the guy the other kids were talking about, what would you want them to do: tell you how they feel, or just ignore you?
• Can you remember a time when the friends of Jesus had to choose between loyalty to him or loyalty to the world?
What Does God Have to Say?
A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs: 18:24