Jesus wants us to always treat people kindly and please God in
everything we do and say.
Susan was being impossible. All week she had been nasty to her
brother and sister. Just this morning her little sister had
annoyed her, so she flipped some cornflakes into her face and laughed
when she cried.
"Susan!" exclaimed her mother in a shocked voice, "That's not the way a
Christian girl behaves. You heard on Sunday that Pastor said we
are like lamps for Jesus, and we need to shine for Him!" Susan
looked unhappy - but only for a moment! She glared at her sister
as she climbed into her Mom's car and slammed the door.
On the way to school she stuck out her tongue at children walking along
the pavement. Only losers walked to school! Later, while
her teacher was trying to explain a science project on the board, she
got her friends to pull horrible faces behind Michael's back, when he
eagerly raised his hand each time their teacher asked a question.
Susan's lamp was losing it's light, but she didn't care.
In Big Trouble!
At break she met her "cool" friends in the hall and they decided it would
be fun to shoot paper balls at the boys. Susan pointed at Michael
and all the girls nodded. They were jealous of him, because he
always did his homework and got the best marks in the class. Susan
also hated him because he was a good Christian and treated everyone
kindly. And so during English, the girls took turns to shoot
paper spit balls at him.
Susan laughed to herself when she hit him on the cheek and he yelled,
"Ouch!" It was even better when the teacher shouted at him.
However, this didn't last long, because the teacher eventually asked why
he kept making noises. He turned round and pointed at the girls
behind him and said, "They did it!"
The teacher got mad when she saw all the paper balls lying all over the
floor. She shouted at Susan and her friends, and made them pick up
every scrap of paper, before sending them to the office to be punished
for their bad behaviour.
It was late when she crept in the front door after detention. Her
mother pounced on her and Susan had to tell her about the paper spit
balls. Mom was furious and shouted, "Straight to bed! And
Susan's lamp was starting to glow rather dim.
Let's Get Him!
She was so angry the next day, that she and her friends decided to teach
Michael a lesson he would never forget. After school they waited
at the top of the entrance steps. Susan whispered, "You all push
Michael and I'll trip him over my leg. It will serve Mommies
little boy right if he falls and scrapes his leg."
Just then Michael came out of the door and the girls gave him a huge shove
as Susan stuck out her leg and tripped him. They cheered as he fell
down the steep steps and lay in a heap at the bottom. But, their
joy turned to fear when Michael didn't jump up and shout at them.
Michael lay still and her friend said, "Susan, now you've done it!
You've killed him!" Susan shook her head in desperation.
"Quick - let's hide!" shouted one girl as a teacher came running to where
Susan's lamp was starting flicker as if it wanted to go out.
I'm Going To Jail!
The girls hid behind some nearby bushes. Susan shivered when one of
her friends whispered, "Now they'll send you to prison, Susan. It
was your idea and it's all your fault!" One by one her friends
stole away leaving Susan watch the paramedics load Michael onto a
stretcher and then the ambulance tore away with its siren blaring.
Susan went home with a heavy heart. When she reached home, she told
her mother she was feeling sick and went to bed without any supper.
That night she tossed and turned as she thought of Michael laying
still and dead in the mortuary. The police would drag her off to a
magistrate and then throw her in jail. She imagined how she would
stay in jail and come out an old, old woman.
Her lamp was nearly out and only a tiny spark remained.
A pale Susan crept into class next morning. Her heart beat fast when
her teacher called her to the front. "You were really unkind
yesterday," she began, "Michael could have been seriously hurt!
Fortunately he was just knocked out." At that moment the classroom
door flew open and in came a grinning Michael.
Susan flew to him and wrapped her arms around his neck and wept, "I'm so
sorry, Michael! I was horrible, and I couldn't bear to go to jail
and grow old for hurting you!" Michael patted her head and said, "I
forgive you, Susan. You did wrong but I hope we can now be
A Changed Heart:
Susan looked at Michael with a shining light in her eyes. "Oh, yes
please, Michael!" said Susan, "I will never say bad things or try to hurt
That night she knelt by her bed and asked Jesus to make her heart clean and
to help her be kind and caring with everyone she came in contact with.
Jesus answered her prayer and she took care in the future to always
treat people kindly, and to try and please Jesus in everything she did.
Her lamp suddenly grew bright and shone out again!
Is Your Light Shining?
What caused Susan's lamp to nearly go out? (Let the children respond
What about your light? Is it shining brightly? And does
the way you talk and behave show that Jesus really lives in your heart?
I hope so!
In Matthew 5:16, Jesus told us to do something very important every day, and at
"Let your light shine before men,
that they may see your good deeds
and praise your Father in Heaven."
I hope you will obey Jesus and always treat other people kindly, with care and
respect. If you do, then your light will also shine out brightly!
Paper Craft Activity:
Here's an optional lantern craft project that the children could do, to
remind them that their lamps always need to shine brightly for Jesus.