Betsy's Doll - A Family Devotional


There are times when we need help from others to remind us to be more compassionate.

God Values Compassion Because He is Compassionate

Bible Reading of the Day: Read Psalm 103:8-13.

Verse of the Day: “The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love” (Psalm 103:8, NIV).

“Marilyn, will you hold my doll for me?” Betsy asked her big sister.

“Shh!” Marilyn answered. “I’m busy.”

“But she wants you to hold her,” Betsy pleaded.

Marilyn turned an angry look on her sister. “I’m watching my favorite TV show, so leave me alone!”

Betsy tramped away, crying softly, but Marilyn ignored her. Mom came into the room a few moments later, holding Betsy’s doll. She sat on the couch behind Marilyn.

“What are you watching?” Mom asked.

“Frontier Doctor,” Marilyn answered. “Did you know that the actor who plays Luke on this show is a Christian? I read about him in a magazine.”

“That’s interesting,” Mom said.

Marilyn turned back to face the television. “I think that’s so cool.”


“Well, because, you know—he’s a Christian, we’re Christians, you know.”

“Oh,” Mom said. “You, um . . . you like it when you find out that others share your faith.”

“Yeah,” Marilyn said. “That’s it.”

Mom waited a few moments, until a commercial break interrupted the program Marilyn was watching. Then she said, “You know what you were telling me about the actor on that show?” She waited until she saw Marilyn nod. “God feels the same way, I think.”

“What do you mean?”

“You have something in common with that actor, because you’re both Christians, right?” Mom said. Marilyn nodded again. “Well, God likes it when you show that you have things in common with him. For example, the Bible says he’s a compassionate God, who is slow to anger and abounding in love. So, naturally, he likes it when you are compassionate too. You could say that he values compassion.”

Marilyn suddenly noticed her sister’s doll in Mom’s arms. She blushed. “I guess I wasn’t very nice to Betsy, was I?”

Mom smiled patiently. “You could have been more compassionate.”

Marilyn got out of her chair and stood. “Can I borrow that doll?” she asked. She took the doll from her mom’s arms, then stepped to the television and turned it off. She shrugged. “I probably watch too much TV anyway.”

TO DISCUSS: Why does God command us to be compassionate? Why does God value compassion? Is God compassionate? If so, how do you know? Do you want to be more compassionate, like God? How can you start?

TO PRAY: “Lord, we want to be compassionate because you value compassion, and because you are compassionate.”

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