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Standing Strong
Photo: Roberto Tostes
On Tuesday afternoon, Katie’s mom dropped her and her two friends, Jessica and Danielle, off at the mall after school. The three friends enjoyed spending time together, talking, shopping, and meeting new people. Of the three friends, Danielle is the only one who reads her Bible regularly and is also the only one who is a baptized church member. Katie and Jessica say they want to be baptized, but they would rather hang out with friends and talk on the phone than do their Bible studies.

While they walking in the mall, they began to talk about the last weekend’s church service. The conversation started off fine but then quickly turned to gossip. They all joined in but Danielle started feeling guilty. She became quiet while the other two continued to gossip about other people.

“Did you see when that man came up to the front stating, ‘I want to be baptized,’ and yet he looked like a bum,” Katie said. Jessica replied, I heard he’s a crack head. I bet he was just trying to check out the church so he can rob it so he can buy more crack.”

Katie asked Danielle, “Doesn’t he live by you? I bet you see him out walking the streets high all day long, huh?”

Danielle responded, “You guys shouldn’t be talking about people like that. God doesn’t like it when we say ugly things about other people.”

“Please girl, are you going to stand up for the alcoholics and crack heads just so they can turn around and rob you? Don’t try to act all high and mighty now. I didn’t see you clapping when he went up front,” Katie said.

Love One Another

“Well, I wish I had,” Danielle replied. “I missed that opportunity but I will not let this one slip by. I will let the Bible speak for itself. Proverbs 20:19 says ‘A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid a man who talks too much.’ Jesus tells us in John 15:14 and 17, ‘You are my friends if you do what I command. This is my command: Love each other.’  Jesus also tells us that the second greatest commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself" Matthew 22:39).

Katie and Jessica were left speechless and angry. They both walked off to a store, leaving Danielle in the middle of the mall by herself. Danielle didn’t care though. She knew she had done the right thing and was amazed with how good it made her feel. After a few short minutes, Katie and Jessica left the store and approached Danielle again.

Katie spoke up for herself and Jessica, saying, “We are sorry. You are right. We both realize we need to be more like Jesus. In order for us to know Jesus we have to read about Him. After we leave the mall, can we come to your house and do Bible studies together?

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By David Wolstenholm. Copyright © 2007 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®.

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