The front door opened quietly. Good. No one in sight, thought Tom. He tiptoed down the hall and into his bedroom. Carefully, he shut his door, and slid his report card into his baseball card album. Mom will never think to look there, he thought.
When Dad came home, Tom was outside playing ball. Dad greeted him, then went into the house where Mom was making supper. With a smile, Dad took a new baseball card from his pocket. "Look what I got for Tom," he said. "He's been wanting this one. I'll put it in his album as a surprise for him." But when Dad opened the album, he got a surprise.
"Tom," Dad called from the back door a little later, "come here, please." As Tom came running, he saw Dad holding the report card, and he slowed down. "You know that in addition to giving out report cards, the school emails your grades to your parents, so we would have seen them soon," said Dad. "But I hadn't checked my email today, so I didn't know about them until I went to leave a surprise in your room." Dad held up Tom's report card. "Why did you try to hide this?"
Tom looked at the ground. "I-I'm sorry," he murmured. "I . . . I was ashamed of it."
"I can understand that," said Dad, "but I'm especially disappointed about the way you tried to hide it." He frowned. "Have you ever thought about what kind of grades you might get if God gave out report cards?" Dad asked.
"I . . . ah . . . I guess not," mumbled Tom.
"If we did get report cards from God, what grade do you think you'd deserve today in the subject of honesty?" Dad asked.
"I . . . I'd deserve a failing grade," admitted Tom.
"I'm afraid so," agreed Dad. "What do you think you should do about it?"
"Ask God to forgive me?" suggested Tom solemnly.
Dad nodded. "Yes," he said, "and then depend on Him for the strength you need to live each day in a way that will bring honor to Him." He looked at the report card. "And what do you think you should do about these grades?"
Tom sighed. "Study harder?" he asked.
"I think you're right," Dad replied. "So go and get your homework done before you go back out to play. Let me know if I can help you with any of it."
HOW ABOUT YOU?
What grade would God give your behavior? Try making a list of things you know you should do—such as obey your parents, help others, be honest, be kind. For each item, give yourself the grade you think God would give you. Ask Him to forgive you if you find you deserve a poor grade. Ask Him to help you please Him in all you do.
TODAY'S KEY VERSE: Revelation 22:12 (KJV)
Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.