The Bandageā€ˆSolution

Source :

"Hey, Ethan, your mom said we had to pay for the soap and sponges we use," said Lance as the boys got ready to set up a car wash sign in the large vacant lot next to Ethan's house, "so how much do I owe you?"

"Nothing," said Ethan. "Mom will never miss the stuff. Let's go." Lance hesitated, but Ethan was already carrying the sign outside.

That evening, Lance's sister asked how their business was going. "Did you make quite a bit more than the cost of your cleaning supplies?" Zoe wondered.

"Yes . . . No . . . Well, we didn't have any expenses," mumbled Lance as he bandaged a cut on his hand. "Ethan took stuff from his house. He said we didn't have to pay, but . . . I don't know."

"You don't know?" asked Dad, who had heard the question.

"I . . . I guess I really do,"replied Lance. "I reminded Ethan that his mom said we could use her stuff and pay her for whatever we needed.But he just shrugged it off. So what can I do? Go and buy supplies myself?"

"That would be a good idea," said Dad, "but you may have to do more--like give up the car wash."

"But, Dad!" protested Lance. "Why?"

"Ethan's a nice guy," said Dad, "but if the two of you can't agree to do honest work, you may have to stop working together."

"Your project would be easier if Ethan were a Christian," Zoe observed.

"Well, Christians don't always follow the guidelines God provides," said Dad,"so we really can't assume Ethan isn't a Christian. But . . ." Dad pointed to Lance's hand. "Buying the supplies yourself may be only a bandage solution."

Lance looked at his hand. "What do you mean?" he asked.

"Your bandage covers that cut and helps for a while, but it doesn't take the cut away or prevent you from getting another one," Dad replied. "And buying supplies yourself may help for a while, but since Ethan seems to have different standards than you do, dishonest actions may come up again."

"I guess so," agreed Lance. "Tomorrow I'll tell Ethan that we have to pay his mom. I'll let him know I can't work with him unless we do."

How About You?
Do your friends have the same standards for living that you do? Perhaps you have friends who aren't Christians. Jesus was a friend to unbelievers, too, but He never went along with any of their wrong actions. He always did things God's way. Make sure you do, too. It's okay to be friends with kids who don't know Jesus, but your closest companions should understand your beliefs and encourage you to live by God's standards.

Today's Key Verse:
Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers.
(2 Corinthians 6:14)

Today's Key Thought:
Live by God's standards