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home : opinion : good news for kids

4/20/2017 9:00:00 AM
GOOD NEWS FOR KIDS
BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT
PRAYER FOR THE WEEK
Jesus, help me see that most people are good, and give them the benefit of the doubt when they're not acting that way! Amen.


After Jesus died, the Apostles stayed in a room to talk about it. They locked the door, but, suddenly, Jesus came in anyway! "Peace be with you," He said, and gave them the power to forgive sins. One Apostle, Thomas, wasn't there -- and didn't believe the others saw Jesus. Later, Jesus came back when Thomas was there. "Peace be with you -- and, Thomas, believe in me," He said. So Thomas did!

Have you heard of "giving someone the benefit of the doubt?" That means assuming someone has good intentions, even if they're doing something that seems mean or weird. It means assuming a person is good, even if they're not acting that way at the moment.

If you're being bullied, for example, it's easy to think the bully is a rotten person. It's much harder to give him or her the benefit of the doubt and think, "Maybe she's hurting. Maybe she's unhappy and is trying to make herself feel good by making other people feel bad."

That doesn't mean someone's poor actions are OK. It's important that they stop! But it means believing that most people are good and trying to find out why they might do things that don't make sense.

This week's Gospel (John 20:19-31) is about giving people the benefit of the doubt. Jesus has died and the Apostles are sad and scared -- until they see Him, alive again! But Thomas isn't there.

Thomas doesn't say the others are lying. He says, "Until I see Jesus myself and know it's Him, I won't believe it." These are Thomas' friends, so he's giving them the benefit of the doubt: Maybe they're right, even if their story sounds unbelievable.

Then Jesus appears. Now, Thomas knows it was a good idea to give the other Apostles the benefit of the doubt!

There are a few people in the world who can't be believed or trusted, but real friends can be. Start by giving people the benefit of the doubt, and see where that takes you.





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