What’s in a Name? A Family Devotional
Following God's command to show mercy to others can provide the blessing of a good reputation.
Bible Reading of the Day: Read Proverbs 3:1-4.
Verse of the Day: “Choose a good reputation over great riches, for being held in high esteem is better than having silver or gold” (Proverbs 22:1).
Valerie and Jasmine sat silently in the school principal’s office. The principal, Mrs. Sheldon, looked at them sternly.
“Now, ladies,” Mrs. Sheldon said, “I understand we have a small problem.”
“We didn’t do it,” Valerie insisted. “Honest, Mrs. Sheldon.”
The principal crossed her arms and leaned against her desk, facing the girls. “Why don’t you start by telling me how all this got started?”
“Somebody put Vaseline on Kelly Porter’s crutches during lunch period,” Jasmine said softly, referring to a girl who had a broken leg. “She slipped and fell when she tried to walk on them.”
“It wasn’t us,” Valerie said. “Kelly just blamed us.”
“Why would she blame you if you didn’t do it?” the principal asked. She noticed that Valerie had to suppress a smile at Kelly’s misfortune, but Jasmine seemed truly sorry for their classmate.
“I don’t know,” Valerie said with a shrug.
“We were sitting behind Kelly,” Jasmine offered.
“But we didn’t do it,” Valerie repeated.
“Is Kelly OK?” Jasmine asked.
Mrs. Sheldon uncrossed her arms and gripped the edges of the desk she leaned against. “I think so,” she said. “She apparently has quite a gash on her forehead, but I think she’s hurt more on the inside than on the outside.”
Jasmine nodded. “I would be, too.”
“We really didn’t do it, Mrs. Sheldon,” Valerie said.
Mrs. Sheldon sighed loudly. “I believe you,” she said. She tapped her fingers on the edge of the desk. “But I want you to know why I believe you.” She turned to Jasmine. “I believe you because I’ve never seen you treat anyone cruelly. Quite the opposite, in fact. I’ve seen you act kindly to other students, even when you thought no one was watching. That’s why I believe your story, ladies.”
Jasmine looked shyly at the principal. “Thank you, Mrs. Sheldon,” she said softly. “You’re welcome,” Mrs. Sheldon answered. She stood. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go check on Kelly to see how she’s doing.”
“Mrs. Sheldon?” Jasmine said as she and Valerie stood. “Can we come, too?” Mrs. Sheldon smiled. “That would be nice,” she said.
TO DISCUSS: How might showing mercy to others produce a good reputation? What might be the benefits of such a reputation?
TO PRAY: “Lord, we choose the good reputation that comes from showing mercy to others. Thank you for your kindness to us.”