One day when Sally walked into seminary she could tell they were in for another fun day. There was a big target on the wall and a table full of darts. Brother Smith told the students to draw a picture of someone that they disliked or someone who had made them angry and he would let them throw some darts at the picture. Sally's girlfriend on the right drew a picture of the girl who had stolen her boyfriend. Her friend on her left drew a picture of his little brother. Sally decided to have some fun and drew a picture of Brother Smith! She really put a lot of detail into her drawing, even to the extent of drawing pimples on his face. She was very pleased at the overall effect she had achieved.

The class lined up and was really getting into the dart throwing, with much laughter as each one taped his picture over the one before. Some of the darts were thrown with such force that the pictures were ripped. Sally was toward the end of the line and filled with disappointment when Brother Smith, because of time limits, asked the students to return to their seats. Sally was thinking how unfair it was that she hadn't had time to throw darts at her picture when Brother Smith removed the target from the wall and revealed the picture of the Savior that had been directly underneath the target. A complete hush fell over the room as the students viewed the torn picture, the eyes pierced out, and marks and holes all over the Savior. All eyes were riveted on the picture of Christ as the students sat in silence. Many even remained in their seats in shock long after the bell had rung! Sally was glad she hadn't had time to throw her darts at the target!


Matthew 25:40 "Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. 41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:"

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There is one member of my family that drives me crazy and fills me with disgust, and sometimes even rage, almost every time we go out together. She is always poking me and saying, "Just look at that." Or cutting me one of her looks! Anyone who is overweight or not dressed to suit her is a candidate for her ridicule. She pretends to be such a good Christian, yet she cuts people down with her words every day. And I know she does the same thing to me behind my back, too. I once had a great aunt who was too old to know (or too old to care!) she was letting something slip who told some of the things this other relative had said about me. No one is safe from her acid tongue and the sad thing is, she doesn't think there is anything wrong with what she does.

Who's It Gonna Hurt?

But saying mean things about others does hurt someone. It hurts the people we are talking to. They must either reproach us or laugh at our ignorance. And, if they are Christians, it is embarrassing for them. It hurts us. Having a biting, caustic spirit is bad for the body and soul. Being kind is so much more healthy. A true Christian has a kind spirit and wouldn't do anything to bring reproach on the Christian name. But most of all, it hurts Christ Himself. Matthew 25 tells us that when we do something good for someone it is as if we have done it for Christ but that also goes the other way! When we purposefully hurt someone we hurt Jesus. We should never say anything about anyone we wouldn't say if Jesus were standing beside us and Jesus is always standing beside us! His love for us is so great, and He expects us to show the same great love that He has for us to others.

Just yesterday my above mentioned relative gave me one of her punches and nodded toward a heavy set lady in line at a restaurant. Knowing her intent I turned and said, "What is your problem now?" She said, "Just look at that." I was so upset I set aside my previous policy of silence. I turned to her and said, "Did it ever occur to you that she may have cancer and gained weight as a result of chemotherapy or something? Don't be so eager to condemn someone until you know their circumstances and have walked a mile in their shoes!" She actually had the grace to look ashamed!

If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.
I John 4:12



I hope the next time you see someone who is perhaps less fortunate than you, you do not make them an object of ridicule but will be willing to pray for them instead; you never know what's hiding underneath!



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{DEVOTION 13 2002} {DEVOTION 15 2002}


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