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Teach Your Children

Have You Ever Felt Like an Outsider?

Have You Ever Felt Like an Outsider?

AN OUTSIDER is someone others don’t accept as part of their group. He or she may be of a different skin color or nationality or have a different way of speaking or doing things. Do you ever feel like an outsider? *

Let’s talk about a man who felt like one. His name was Mephibosheth. Let’s learn who he was and why he felt the way he did. If you ever feel like an outsider, you can learn a lot from Mephibosheth.

Mephibosheth was the son of Jonathan, David’s dear friend. Before Jonathan died in war, he said to David: ‘Be good to my children.’ David became king. Years later he remembered Jonathan’s words, and Mephibosheth was still alive. When he was little, he had a bad accident. He could hardly walk for the rest of his life. Can you see why he might have felt like an outsider?

David wanted to be good to Jonathan’s son. So David arranged for Mephibosheth to have a home near his in Jerusalem, and a place was kept for him at David’s dining table. The man Ziba, along with his sons and servants, was given to Mephibosheth to be his servant. David truly honored Jonathan’s son! Do you know what happened then?

David came to have troubles in his home. Absalom, one of David’s sons, turned against him and tried to be king. David had to run for his life. Mephibosheth wanted to go with David when many others went. These friends of David knew that he was the rightful king. But Mephibosheth could not go because he could hardly walk.

Then Ziba told David that Mephibosheth had stayed behind because he really wanted to be king. David believed that lie! So he gave Ziba all of Mephibosheth’s property. Soon David won the war against Absalom and came back to Jerusalem. Now David heard Mephibosheth’s side of the story. David decided that Mephibosheth and Ziba should share the property. What do you think Mephibosheth did?

He did not complain that David’s decision was unfair. Mephibosheth knew that the king needed peace so that he could do his job well. So he said that Ziba could keep all the property. What really mattered to Mephibosheth was that Jehovah’s servant David was back in Jerusalem as king.

Mephibosheth suffered a lot. He often felt like an outsider. But Jehovah loved him and took care of him. What can we learn from this?— Even when we do what is right, some may tell lies about us. Jesus said: “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated me before it hated you.” People even killed Jesus! We can be sure that if we do what is right, the true God, Jehovah, will love us​—and his Son, Jesus, will too.

^ par. 3 If you are reading with a child, the dash provides a reminder to pause and encourage the child to express himself.