Squares and Rectangles - A Family Devotional


How are failures and sins like rectangles and squares?


Bible Reading of the Day: Read 2 Corinthians 12:6-10.

Verse of the Day: “For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10).

Mom held Micah’s schoolbook in her hands. “All right,” she said in her best teacher’s voice, “what is a square?” She was quizzing him to help him prepare for an important test at school.

“A parallelogram with four equal sides and four equal angles,” Micah answered.

“Very good,” Mom said. “What’s a parallelogram?”

“Uh,” Micah said, “it’s … a figure where the sides are even with the other sides.”

“Right,” Mom said. “Each side is parallel to the opposite side. What’s a rectangle?”

Micah thought for a moment. “A parallelogram with four equal angles.”

“Good!” Mom said. “Is a square always a rectangle?”

Micah nodded. “Yup,” he said.

“Is a rectangle always a square?”

“No,” he said confidently.

Mom slapped the covers of the book shut and said, “I think you’re ready.”

“I hope so,” Micah said. “I don’t want the other kids making fun of me again like they did when I flunked the last quiz. They make me feel so … so guilty.”

Mom looked at her son with sympathetic eyes. “I understand that. It’s hard when people make fun of you. And I’m glad you’re determined to do your best. But you don’t have to feel guilty, no matter what the other kids do. Failures aren’t always sins, you know.”

“They’re not?”

“No,” Mom said. She opened the textbook again to the illustrations of squares and rectangles. She laid the book on the table in front of Micah. “Failures and sins are like rectangles and squares. Sins are like squares; they’re always failures. When you sin, you also fail.”

“Just like a square is always a rectangle.”

“Right,” Mom said. “But failures aren’t always sins. Sometimes they are, but sometimes they’re not. We all fail, because we’re all human. You may fail a quiz, or you may fail to give me a phone message, or you may fail to win a race. But those aren’t necessarily sins.”

“Just like rectangles aren’t always squares,” Micah suggested.

Mom rubbed the top of Micah’s head. “Right.”

TO DISCUSS: How are failures and sins related? How are they different? Do you ever fail at something? How can you tell if your failure is a sin?

TO PRAY: “Lord, as humans, we can’t help but fail sometimes. Help us to learn the difference between sinful failures and innocent failures. And if we sin, remind us to seek forgiveness from you.”

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