Dyed with Good Colors
By Violet Nesdoly © 2000
"Did you see the top April was wearing?" Twyla asked Clarissa, on the drive home from school.
"Way un-cool! And her hair is just too gross! Itís lucky if it sees a comb once a week!" Clarissa replied. They seemed to both warm up to the insulting comments, as if putting April down was great fun and somehow made them feel better about themselves.
"Probably crawling with cooties," Twyla said, and the girls broke into giggles.
"Whoís April?" little Stephanie asked, from the front seat.
"You donít know who anybody is, do you!" Clarissa replied sharply.
Mom looked disapprovingly at Clarissa in the rear-view mirror, but she just rolled her eyes and shrugged her shoulders.
A minute later they got to Twylaís house. Twyla gathered her books and jumped out of the car. "See you tonight," she said as she left.
"Whatís got into you?" Mom asked Clarissa as they drove on. "Lately youíre so vicious and sarcastic."
"I donít know. All my friends talk like that. By the way, did you wash my new jeans?" she asked, changing the subject. "I need them for tonight."
"They werenít in your hamper," said Mom. "I guess youíll have to wash them yourself."
When Clarissa got home, she put her jeans and a few other things into the washer. At the end of the cycle, she went to put her clothes in the dryer. "Oh no," Clarissa wailed as she looked at the clothes.
"What is it?" asked Mom.
"My white top," Clarissa cried coming into the kitchen, holding up a bluish t-shirt. "What happened?"
Mom and Clarissa went back into the laundry room and looked through the other blue-tinged clothes in the washer. "Looks like the dye from your jeans colored the whole load," Mom said. "Reminds me of a person I know whose life is beginning to take on a different shade Ė seems like the people she hangs out with all the time is rubbing off on her.
HOW ABOUT YOU? Do your friends constantly find fault with others, laugh at them when theyíre not around, and speak in sarcastic and rude ways? If youíre around such behavior a lot, itís hard not to act the same way. Remember two things: You will be influenced by the people with whom you spend time, and you too have an impact on your friends. Decide to choose your friends wisely and to let Godís love flow through you so your attitudes and actions rub off on others and will dye their lives with good colors.
The Bible tells us in Ephesians 5:1-7 (GNT) to avoid criticism of others and to determine to live our lives in the light: "Since you are Godís dear children, you must try to be like him. Your life must be controlled by love, just as Christ loved us and gave his life for us as a sweet-smelling offering and sacrifice that pleases God. Since you are Godís people, it is not right that any matters of sexual immorality or indecency or greed should even be mentioned among you. Nor is it fitting for you to use language which is obscene, profane, or vulgar. Rather you should give thanks to God. You may be sure that no one who is immoral, indecent, or greedy (for greed is a form of idolatry) will ever receive a share in the Kingdom of Christ and of God. Do not let anyone deceive you with foolish words; it is because of these very things that Godís anger will come upon those who do not obey him. So have nothing at all to do with such people."
The Bible also says, "Come my children and listen to me, and I will teach you to fear the LORD. Any of you want to live a life that is long and good? Then watch your tongue! Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from telling lies!" (Psalm 34:11-13 NIV)
A true friend elevates, never diminishes another person, even when tempted.
Violet Nesdoly writes from her home in British Columbia, Canada. Sheís been an adult by age for a while now, but is still learning about being a good friend.
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