An important message from Harry Potter

For kids

In the second book in the series, "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets," we meet a funny new character, Gilderoy Lockhart, a new teacher at Hogwarts.

The author J. K. Rowling shares little details about him that make us laugh. His autobiography is called "Magical Me." He's a five-time winner of Witch Weekly's Most-Charming-Smile Award. The walls in his office are covered with pictures of himself that he has signed. And he apparently uses rollers to curl his hair.

But as the story goes on, it's clear that Gilderoy Lockhart isn't just a fun character. The books he writes are filled with lies. His bragging puts others down. He pretends he can do things, and then he fails with disastrous results. And in the end he tries to run away because he's afraid to help defeat the deadly basilisk serpent.

Gilderoy Lockhart wants to be admired and respected. He wants everyone to think he's great and to like him. So he tries to impress everyone by pretending to be something he's not, and it doesn't work. In the end, both the kids and the teachers see through his big talk, and they laugh at him.

It's normal to want others to like you, to want them to be your friends and think you're wonderful. So how do you get there? What works?

To start out, it's important to be clear about who you already are. The Bible calls God the creator. The very beginning of the Bible tells how God made all the living creatures and the earth and seas, and then He made man in His image and likeness. When God was finished, He looked at all He had made and saw how good it was. God keeps on creating very good things.

Being the image and likeness of God means we're special. Nothing could be better than being like God! But how are we like God?

In a book about God called "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," the author, Mary Baker Eddy, said that we reflect God. We're like a reflection in a mirror. Of course God is Spirit, and so we're a spiritual reflection. We don't reflect God as a physical body, but we reflect the qualities of God. God is loving, and so are we. God is strong, and so are we. God is everything good you can possibly think of. All the good things that make up God make up who we are.

And all those good qualities are in a one-of-a-kind combination in us. Each of us is special, like no one else. We use those qualities from God in our own special way, and so we are each needed to make God's creation complete.

When you know who you are, this takes over your thinking about yourself. You start being more and more who you really are. Being like God makes you wonderful. You'll be a good friend. Other kids will want to be with you. They'll respect you.

Being respected and admired is not the same as being well known. Remember - everyone knew Gilderoy Lockhart.

When you reflect God in your own special way, you will naturally be a good friend. You will be the kind of friend other kids respect and admire.

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