A Game of Compassion

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#228: “A Game of Compassion”
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James 2:14-26

14What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him?

15Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. 16If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? 17In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. 18But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds." Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. 19You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that--and shudder. 20You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless ? 21Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23And the scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness," and he was called God's friend. 24You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone. 25In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction?

26As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

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A Game of Compassion

“A Game of Compassion” is episode #228 of the Adventures in Odyssey audio series. It was written by Jeff White, and originally aired on April 17, 1993.


Eric Myers makes a secret promise to help a despondent widow, but the promise will keep him from the season's most important soccer game.



Eric Myers is one of the star players on Odyssey's soccer team. Thanks to his skills, the team has a chance to win the championship for the first time in 17 years. The big game is on Friday, and Eric is pumped for it.

After practice, he meets the locker-room cleaning lady, Mrs. Phillips. She seems distressed. Mrs. Phillips reluctantly tells Eric she is widowed and nearly destitute. She needs to move from her current place to a new apartment, but she doesn’t have anyone to help her. Eric volunteers. He tells her that he’ll be there first thing Saturday morning.

But the next day, the soccer coach announces that due to a problem with the field, the big championship game has been moved to Saturday. Eric panics! He knows the team needs him, but he’s made a promise to Mrs. Phillips. Eric decides to keep his promise. He tells the team he can’t be there. But Eric doesn’t tell the team why, so they think Eric is a traitor.

Later, at Whit’s End, Eric’s little sister, Brooke, tells Whit about Eric’s dilemma. Whit tells Eric that he’s doing the right thing. Eric knows this, but he says it still won’t help him win the game.

Saturday arrives, and Eric goes to help Mrs. Phillips. She has also heard about Eric’s dilemma, though. Mrs. Phillips tells Eric to go to the game. But Eric says he made a promise, and he intends to keep it. Just then, there’s a knock at the door. It’s Whit, along with the entire soccer team. They all pitch in and help, and Mrs. Phillips is moved before the game.

This plot section is too short and should be expanded. »

Discussion Questions

  1. Should Eric have kept his promise to Mrs. Phillips?
    • Why or why not?
  2. Why didn’t Eric simply tell his coach or his mom or even Whit about his dilemma?
    • Would you have kept quiet?
  3. Have you ever faced a problem like Eric’s?
    • How did you handle it?


Heard in episode

Role Voice Actor
Brooke Myers Amber Arnold
Coach Bryant Brian Cummings
Carl Shawn Svoboda
Eric Myers Joe Dammann
John Whittaker Hal Smith
Julie Myers Donna Christie
Mike Chris Berg
Phil Zachary McFarlane
Mrs. Phillips Julia Kazarian

Mentioned in episode

Character Mentioned By
Ernie Myers Mrs. Phillips
Connie Kendall John Whittaker


  • The theme of this episode is similar to that of #174: “Where's Your Daddy?”, with the formerly-bitter and distrustful Eric taking the role of the helper here, showing the extent of his character development since then. Eric even refers to the events of Where's Your Daddy? in his first conversation with Mrs. Phillips, with the musical cue at the end of their conversation being the same as the one heard at the end of Eric's conversation with Tom Riley in that episode.


Coach Bryant: Did ya make up your mind about the game tomorrow?
Eric Myers: I can't be there, coach. I have to keep my promise.

Eric Myers: The game was supposed to be today, and they changed it. You see, I made a promise.
Brooke Myers: Did you cross your heart?
Eric Myers: No.
Brooke Myers: Then you don't have to keep it.
Eric Myers: Yes, I do. A promise is a promise, whether you cross your heart or not.
Brooke Myers: Really? So when you promised last week to take me to Whit's End, you still have to do it, even though you didn't cross your heart?
Eric Myers: Brooke, I don't wanna go to Whit's End.
Brooke Myers: But, you promised! And a promise is a promise.
Eric Myers: Oh, come on.

John Whittaker: That seems to be common about problems, doesn't it? Always being so... uh... problematic.
Eric Myers: Yeah. Especially this one.