Poor Loser

Poor Loser

"Oh, dear, Kathy is winning again!" Patsy thought.

"Don't make such a long face, Patsy!" laughed Kathy. "It's only a game we decided to play on this rainy afternoon, remember? Maybe you'll win the next game."

"Maybe," agreed Patsy. "Now if only the spinner will stop at six! That's what I need to put my man back."

She spun, but the needle stopped at five, not six. Then a naughty thought jumped into Patsy's mind. Kathy was looking hard at the board, trying to figure out which of her men to move next. She wouldn't see if—

"Oh, but that wouldn't be fair!" thought Patsy. "Still, its only a  little thing, and I don't want Kathy telling at school tomorrow how she came to my house and beat me every game." Patsy just touched the needle and it moved from five to six.

Kathy looked up. "See you got your six, Patsy! Now I must decide how to play to catch that man again."

"Ummm-m, huh," mumbled Patsy.

It was easier to cheat the second time. A few minutes later Patsy changed the needle again. And so she won a game.

Kathy wanted to play another game, but suddenly Patsy didn't feel like playing. The parcheesi game was no longer fun. Kathy was surprised, because Patsy wasn't gay and cheerful any longer. Soon Kathy went home.

That night as Patsy was going over her reading lesson she came across the word "cheat," and it made her jump.

"The needle on the spinner moved so quickly this afternoon that it didn't seem like anything. But I won't do it again ever!" Patsy said to herself.

She meant that, too, for she knew that those who are trying to follow Jesus, as she was, shouldn't do even "little things" that were wrong. Patsy felt a little queer when she said her prayers that night, and so she hurried through them instead of taking time to tell Jesus how much she loved him, and to thank God for all his goodness to her that day.

Later that week Patsy had a chance to play more games. Another friend, Alma, invited her over to her house to play with her new neighbors, Don and Winifred. And the first thing Patsy knew she found herself cheating again, just so she could win the game of "A Trip to England to See the Queen." Patsy was afraid Don had seen her pick up just the right card she needed to win.

While they were all eating candy, Alma invited Don and Winifred to go to church school with them the next Sunday.

But Don answered, "Our family doesn't go to church regularly. You see, it seems to me that many Christians are no better than the people who do not go to church."

The little group broke up soon and Patsy wasn't at all sorry, for she felt so miserable. She had made Don think there wasn't any use in going to church school and knowing Jesus, and she had had a dreadful time.

"It was fun up to the time I cheated," thought Patsy on the way home. "Why did I do it again?"

The next morning when Patsy awoke, she slipped out of bed and knelt beside it. "Dear God, help me to be brave enough to own up to the wrong I have done," Patsy prayed. Now a peaceful feeling came over her. God would help. She had the courage to do what was right.

When Alma and Winifred came to school, Patsy began: "I really didn't win that game yesterday. I cheated. Don saw me, I'm sure, and so he thinks that Christians aren't any different from other boys and girls. That isn't true, Don, because Alma and Kathy play fair. And God will help me to after this, like he helped me to confess. I just didn't want to lose, and I forgot that cheating isn't winning anyway."

"No, Patsy," spoke up Don. "I really didn't see you cheat. But there must be something very worthwhile about being a follower of Jesus and knowing that you can talk things over with God and receive his help when you need it."

"Let's forget the Sunday comics, Don, and go to church school with Patsy, Alma, and the rest," urged Winifred.

"And in the afternoon come over to my house," invited Patsy, "and we'll play something—fair!"—Adapted from a story by Grace Helen Davis, in Juniors.

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