"Look! Here comes that girl on her three-wheeler," said Marcus. "She's not too bright," he added with a snicker.
"Yeah," said Nolan. "Let's pretend we're going to run into her and see what she does."
So Marcus and Nolan steered their bikes toward the girl. Fear spread across her face as they came closer. "Stop!" she shouted.
"Watch out, dummy!" yelled Marcus, and Nolan laughed loudly. They steered away just in time to avoid actually running into the frightened girl.
Just then, Marcus saw Mrs. Vanveer, their Sunday school teacher, coming out of her house. Feeling guilty, he turned and looked the other way. CRASH! Before Marcus realized what was happening, he had run into Nolan. Down they went in a tangle of boys and bikes. Marcus felt a sharp pain where his arm was badly skinned, and Nolan was limping when he got up.
Mrs. Vanveer hurried to help them. She went back into her house to get bandages. "Do you like to get hurt?" she asked when she returned.
"Do we like to get hurt?" Marcus asked in surprise. "Of course not."
"So how would you have felt," continued Mrs. Vanveer, "if I had come out and pushed you over and then laughed when you got hurt?"
The boys stared at her blankly. "That would have been mean," Marcus finally answered.
Mrs. Vanveer nodded. "Yet you did the same thing to that girl."
"We didn't touch her!" Nolan protested. "We just teased her a little."
"Yes, and that hurt her,"replied Mrs. Vanveer. "It hurts her to be made fun of because she has special needs." The boys hung their heads, knowing she was right. "Jesus taught us to treat others kindly," continued Mrs. Vanveer. "He treated everyone with love--He loves each one of us so much, He was willing to suffer and die for us. And He wants us to love everyone too, including those we see as different from us."
Both boys looked ashamed. "I'm sorry," said Nolan.
"Me too," said Marcus. "We won't ever do that again." Nolan nodded in agreement.
"I'm glad to hear it," said Mrs. Vanveer. She pointed down the street. "Here she comes around the block again. Maybe you should let her know you're sorry too." Carolyn E. YostHOW ABOUT YOU?
Are you kind to those who are different from you? Or do you sometimes tease them? Teasing can be very painful. Try thinking how you would feel if you were in their place. Instead of teasing, follow the example of Jesus. He was kind to everyone and showed us His great love by dying for our sins. Don’t be a bully and tease when it hurts someone. Instead, be a friend like Jesus.
TODAY'S KEY VERSE: Ephesians 5:2 (KJV)
Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us. (NLT)