Ephesians 4:31: "Be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one
another, even as God for Christ's sake has forgiven you."
Materials You Need:
Some large nails.
A small plank of soft wood.
The children hammer nails into a piece of wood to represent what they did in
their anger to someone who upset them. They need to say sorry to that
person and can then remove their nail from the plank. The lesson is
that their anger left a scar on the person they hurt, just like their nail
left a hole in the plank.
Grades 1 - 7 (7 to 13 years).
Our anger can hurt others and leave scars in their lives.
Jimmy was mad! His Dad had grounded him for not doing his chores.
He was supposed to feed the dog, sweep the porch and take out the trash.
"Why do I have to do so much work?" he muttered, "The ice-cream van came
and I just had to have one of those new chocolate cones!"
Jimmy had been in trouble all week with his temper. He had shouted at
his Dad for grounding him. "I'll get even!" he shouted and
kicked the dog who yelped and limped away on three legs. Jimmy
didn't even care when his parents had to take the dog to the vet and his
Mom came back all upset.
Next day he slouched moodily to school. "Get out of my way!" he yelled
at some small kids and punched one on the back. The child ran off
crying, but Jimmy just gave a nasty laugh and shouted, "Cry baby!!"
He was angry when his teacher kept him in at break for hurting the child.
So he tore up the teacher's note book and scattered the pieces all
over the classroom!
Now he was in big trouble! His parents had to meet with the principal
and Jimmy was suspended from school for a whole week. That night his
Dad sat him down and then gave him a hammer and a box of nails.
What's this for? asked Jimmy.
"You must learn to control your temper!" replied Dad, "You have your new
tree-house, and I want you to hammer a nail into the door every time you
lose your temper!"
Jimmy did this and soon the door was studded with many nails. A few
weeks later Jimmy saw his Dad examining the door to the tree-house.
Dad remarked, "I see you have lost you temper many times, but I noticed
you are not losing it so frequently just lately!" His son nodded and
then Dad said, "Well, you are learning that you can control your temper.
Now, I want you to remove one nail from the door each time you don't
get angry and cross."
It was not long before all the nails were out and Jimmy called his Dad.
"Look Dad they are all gone!" he exclaimed. "Yes Son," replied his Dad,
"But the trouble of losing you temper is that other people get hurt and
that leaves a scar in their lives, just like the nails have left a whole
bunch of holes and spoilt your tree-house door!"
But, Jimmy had learnt a hard lesson. Each time he played in his tree-house
he would look at the holes in the door and ask Jesus to help him control his
temper. And Jesus did. Everybody was amazed at how Jimmy's
behaviour improved and never again did he try to get even when somebody upset
The Object Lesson:
I want anybody who has been angry and hurt someone here today, to come
forward and knock a nail into this plank. The nail represents your
anger and what you said or did to hurt that person. ( Let the
children hammer nails into a piece of wood to represent what they did in
their anger to someone who upset them.
). Now you need to go to
that person and say sorry for what you did or said. Paul tells us in
Ephesians 4:31 to:
"Be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another,
even as God for Christ's sake has forgiven you."
Now you have said sorry, you can come and remove your nail from the plank.
The nails have all gone, but the plank is spoiled with all the nail
holes you have left! Our lesson is that your anger also left a scar
on the person you hurt, just like your nail left a hole in the wood.
Let's bow our heads and I want you to ask Jesus to forgive you and help you
to control your temper even when other kids make you mad!