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Page 438

Can you identify several of the guidelines listed on the previous page that Mark put into practice in this story?

The following stories illustrate these truths:

    Mark heard his friend, Al, use several profane swear words when speaking to others one afternoon on the school bus. Mark knew that he must speak with Al. He prayed that God would give him the wisdom and opportunity.

    The next day no opportunity presented itself, but the following day it did. Al ran to Mark during the noon hour and told him he had some news he wanted to share with him. They walked together outside and Al told Mark all about a new after-school job he was offered. Mark patiently listened and responded to Al until he had finished.

    "Al, there's also something I wanted to talk with you about as one friend with another - just the two of us."

    "Sure, Mark, what is it?"

    "Al, two days ago you used some very wrong language on the bus when we were going home, and that's really bothered me. I'm concerned about you, but also about all the younger ones on the bus. What if that becomes a habit in your life, Al? What if some of the younger ones get used to hearing it and start swearing too? To be honest, Al we're good friends, and I'm worried I'll start too! I know I'm not a bit better than anyone else."

    They walked on in silence until Al replied, "You're right, Mark. I don't really want to talk like that. I guess I get into a group and want to sound tough. But you're right - I'll try to watch it!"

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