Grow as a Christian

Answer for Students
Unit 16 - Growing God's Way

TEXT: 2 Peter 1:1-11; 3:17-18

I knew I would have to forgive.

“Well, I said I was sorry!” my little brother George repeated, looking at me fearfully, and then glancing back at the broken pieces of glass on the floor. My doll—my beautiful Korean doll—was smashed.

“Sorry doesn’t fix my doll!” I cried, a huge lump forming in my throat as I knelt down and picked up a couple of the pieces. “Go on, get out of my room! And never come back in here again!”

When George was gone, I sat down on the floor and picked up a piece of the doll. I could feel my eyes fill with tears. The doll was ruined. No way could it ever be put back together; there were little pieces all over the floor.

Mom came in and asked, “What was that all about, Hazel? George just came through the kitchen looking as though he had lost his last friend.” She stopped as she spotted the wreckage on the floor. “Oh, Hazel! Not your beautiful doll from Grandpa! How on earth did that happen?”

My anguish boiled over into furious words. “George—he did it! He came in here with that stupid ball of his, wanting me to go out and play with him. He tossed it to me before I even figured out what he wanted, and of course I didn’t have time to catch it. It smashed into my bookcase and the doll fell off. And now look, Mom. It’s ruined! And it’s all his fault! I’ll never forgive him!”

Mom put an arm around my shoulders. “Hazel, Dear, I know you feel badly about this. I do too, but I really don’t think George meant to break it.”

I hardly even heard her. “He’s not supposed to come into my room without knocking. And then to throw a ball at me too! I’ll never forgive him!” I repeated.

But even as I said it, I knew I was wrong. And I knew Jesus wasn’t pleased with my attitude.

Dinnertime that night was not much fun. George was quiet and I couldn’t look at him. I didn’t feel much like eating and I guess George didn’t either. He didn’t even eat one bread roll, and usually I have to fight him for the last one.

Later, as I was helping Mom put the dishes in the dishwasher, she said something that didn’t seem to have anything to do with my problem—until afterward, when I got to my room. She said, “Hazel, have you worked on that project for your Sunday school class yet?”

Maybe I should explain about my Sunday school class. My teacher likes us to figure out ways our lessons apply to our lives, so each week we have a project or assignment to bring back to class the next Sunday. This week our project was to write down one time during the week when we were faced with a situation giving us a chance to “grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”

Well, like I said, I went up to my room after finishing in the kitchen. When I walked in and saw the broken pieces of my doll lying on the shelf, suddenly the words “grow in grace” came to my mind.

I sat down on the side of my bed and thought about it. I knew Jesus had said we should forgive others when they did something bad against us or something that hurt us. I hadn’t really had many chances to do that. Maybe this was one opportunity, but it wasn’t going to be easy. My doll couldn’t be fixed, I’d never have another one like it. Still, I knew I would have to forgive if I were going to grow as a Christian the way God wanted me to.

I closed my eyes. “Jesus,” I prayed, “help me forgive George. Help me to grow in Your grace and learn to be the kind of Christian You want me to be.”

I opened my eyes and thought about it some more. I don’t believe George meant to break my doll. He just wanted to play, and he forgot about knocking. I really do love my little brother, even if he is a pest at times. And I could see he really was sorry about it at dinner tonight.

Just then a light knock sounded on my door. “Yeah . . . come in,” I said, looking up.

It was George. “Hazel . . .” he said hesitantly, “Here.” He came over to my bed and laid in my lap a silver dollar—the silver dollar Uncle Jim had given him a few months ago, and which had been his priceless possession ever since.

“George! What’s this for?” I questioned him.

“I’m sorry I broke your doll. I didn’t mean to. Maybe you can buy another one with this dollar.”

“Oh, George.” A lump came up in my throat again, but this time it wasn’t caused by anger. “George, you don’t have to give me your dollar. I know you didn’t mean to break my doll. I forgive you.”

The light came back into his brown eyes, and a grin chased across his freckled little face. “Do you mean it, Hazel?” He grabbed my hand. “Goody! Then will you come play ball with me now?”

When I stood up to go outside with him, I felt as though I had grown several inches. No, I really wasn’t any taller, but I had grown in the grace and knowledge we learned about in Sunday school. I could feel it!