By Greg Johnson
“So, what would you kids like to do this Saturday?” Mom asks you and your sister. “Dad’s going to be out of town and I’ve got a few extra hours. Let’s all do something fun.”
That sounds great to you. You’ve been racking your brain in school the past few weeks and doing homework every weekend. You’re ready for a break.
“I know what I want to do,” your sister says. “Go swimming and then to the miniature golf course.”
“That sounds like fun to me,” Mom says. “How about you?”
To you that sounds OK. But you’d much rather spend the day at the mall. You haven’t bought any new CDs since before school started and there’s a million more things to do there.
“I’ve got a better idea,” you say. “Why don’t we walk around the mall for a while, and eat lunch at the food court, then hit a movie?”
“Oh, the weather’s going to be nice this weekend. Are you sure swimming and mini-golf don’t sound better?” Mom says with that let’s not disappoint your little sister look.
You’ve got your heart set on the mall, seeing your friends, going shopping, hitting a movie... but you can see you’re in a dilemma.
“Why don’t you talk it over after dinner? Whatever you decide is fine with me,” Mom says as she heads into the kitchen.
After the dishes are cleaned off the table, you call your little sister into the room. It shouldn’t be too tough getting her to come around, you think.
She sits quietly while you make your case again for the mall. You’re pretty convincing if you do say so yourself. You end by saying, “And I promise, next month we can all go swimming, OK?”
“But I want to go swimming now,” she says in that whiny voice of hers. “I haven’t been able to go swimming in months. I don’t want to walk around a hot, crowded old mall for four hours, and there aren’t any movies playing that I want to see.”
Questions to Think On
• What would you do or say next? Can you see any way to compromise?
• Though you have just as much right to do what you want as your sister does, what’s really important here: getting your way or giving in and making her happy?
• Why is it so hard to be unselfish? If you gave in, would you try to have a good time, or would you mope around the whole afternoon?
• Mom and Dad: When did you begin to learn how important it is to think of others instead of yourself all the time?
What Does God Have to Say?
Even a child is known by his actions, by whether his conduct is pure and right.
My son, if your heart is wise, then my heart will be glad; my inmost being will rejoice when your lips speak what is right.