As Sarah wound Santa-shaped lights around the Christmas tree, her stepsister, Laura, came in carrying a wreath.
"Oh," said Laura. "Aren't we using white lights?"
Smiling, Sarah shook her head. "My family used these every Christmas, and I'd like to share them with you since it's our first holiday together."
Laura touched the lights. "Well...my family doesn't decorate with Santa stuff. We believe Jesus should be the focus of Christmas."
"He still is," Sarah said, pointing to a manger scene nearby.
"I just feel uncomfortable," said Laura. "Maybe we could use white lights instead."
"Maybe," said Sarah, taking down the Santa lights. "Um, I'll be back."
Sarah walked to the garage, where her dad was organizing. She sat on a box and sighed.
"Decorating with Laura is impossible. All I did was put up Santa lights, and she freaked out."
Dad glanced at Sarah. "Laura and her mom haven't been Christians long. They might think it's wrong to include Santa in their Christmas decorations."
"That's silly! Santa's just a fun tradition. Laura needs to get over it."
Dad looked around and then slapped his forehead. "I'm out of tape! Can you drive out and buy some?"
Sarah laughed. "I can't drive!"
"There's nothing to it. Hop in!" Dad opened the truck door, and Sarah climbed into the driver's seat. Dad pointed down the steep driveway. "Careful on that ice. If you skid, you'll end up in the ditch."
Sarah swallowed hard. "I don't think I can do this. I haven't been to driver's ed!"
Dad leaned on the frame of the truck window. "You're a lot like Laura. You need training. If I urge you to drive before you're ready, you might hurt yourself. Laura needs training too--Bible training. Along with freedom from sin, Jesus gives us freedom to enjoy many things, but Laura doesn't fully understand that. If you push her to do something she believes is wrong, you'll cause her to sin--and you'll be sinning too. We need to be patient as she gains more experience and understanding as a Christian."
"I hadn't thought of that!" said Sarah. "I'll use white lights on the tree this year. I'll go ask Laura to help me put them up!"
-Grace GeideHOW ABOUT YOU?
Do you know someone who’s uncomfortable doing something that you think is harmless? Perhaps you disagree on how God feels about certain books, clothes, or TV shows. Base your choices on God’s Word, and enjoy the liberty Jesus gives you. But never push others to read, wear, or watch something when they believe it would be wrong. Be patient and trust God to help them understand the freedom they have in Jesus.
TODAY'S KEY VERSE: 1 Corinthians 8:1 (KJV)
Yes, we know that “we all have knowledge” about this issue. But while knowledge makes us feel important, it is love that strengthens the church. (NLT)