"Those girls make me sooooo mad!" Melanie stormed into the kitchen, close to tears. She found her mother preparing dinner. "What happened?" Mom asked.
"Greta is having a party next week, but she and Phyllis say that if I'm going to be friends with Natalie, they don't want me coming," Melanie explained. "Natalie's a girl from Russia. She doesn't speak English very well, and she wears clothes that are a little different. Some of the girls make fun of her, so I've been trying to be her friend."
"That's a very good thing to do," Mom said as she chopped some onions. "In fact, it's the kind of thing Jesus would do."
"But I want to go to the party. Greta is one of the most popular girls in my grade, and this is the first party she's invited me to. Maybe I can just tell Natalie I have too many things to do and can't spend much time with her anymore, at least until after the party."
"Wouldn't that be lying?" Mom asked. She handed Melanie the cheese grater.
"I guess so," said Melanie as she started grating the cheese. "Isn't there some way to stay Natalie's friend and go to Greta's party?"
"If you gave in to Greta, do you think she'd stop trying to tell you what to do? Do you think other girls would start lining up to be your friend because you treated Natalie cruelly? Do you think you could stop grating the cheese before you grate your fingers?"
Melanie stopped. She hadn't realized how vigorously she'd been working. She popped the remaining nub of cheese into her mouth. "You're right," she said. "I'll do the right thing, even if it means I'll be unpopular."
"Oh, that's so nice," Mom said, sniffing. "It makes me cry."
Melanie turned and saw tears on her mother's cheeks. "You're not fooling me," she said. "That's the onion making you cry."
"Better me than Natalie," Mom said, winking.
REFLECT: When you're tempted to do wrong, do you most often:
a. have trouble recognizing the right choice?
b. not like your choices?
c. do what you feel like without even thinking about your choices?
How can you make better choices in the future?
PRAY: "Lord God, when I'm tempted to do wrong, help me to see and choose the right way out."