Rocks, a Sack...and Forgiveness
Leading up to Easter is a great time to examine our hearts and ask the Lord to clean them up and make them whole. We need to do it, and we can help our children do it, too.
Here’s an easy-to-do object lesson to help your kids understand how to keep their souls free. Gather large rocks or heavy books, a sack, masking tape, and a Sharpie marker.
- Ask your children to think of someone they may need to forgive. Here are a few prompts:
- Did someone say something that embarrassed you
- Did someone take something that belonged to you?
- Did someone make you feel bad about yourself?
- Talk about the feelings that can result from hurts like that (resentment, hate, revenge, anger and bitterness) and write those things on the masking tape, labeling each rock or heavy object.
- Put the items in the sack.
- Have each child take turns walking around the room holding the loaded sack, and explain that carrying around feelings such as anger and unforgiveness in their hearts is an even heavier load to bear than carrying the heavy sack.
- Share with them Ephesians 4:31 to let them know what God says about it: "Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice."
- Explain that if they choose to forgive the person who hurt them or offended them in some way, then God will lift the bad feelings off of them and they will be free of the burden of carrying them around. Tell them they are the ones who are hurt the most when they choose not to forgive.
- Let them know you understand it is not easy, but that God gives us the power to do it when we choose to obey Him by forgiving. We may have been badly hurt, and Jesus understands that. Though he was mocked, unjustly condemned, beaten, humiliated and nailed to a cross, he still said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)
- Pray with your children, asking God to reveal any areas that need to be forgiven, and help them turn over burdens to the Lord.
- After praying, they might enjoy running around the room without the sack, and you can tell them this is how good it feels to run free without the weight and heaviness of unforgiveness
Very well! I pray these truths go down deep into the hearts of all the families who choose to do this activity.
Now a question for you…
How are you doing on this subject?
- Have you suffered recently because of an unjust or pointless decision someone made?
- Has anyone demeaned or criticized you?
- Have any public figures or world leaders offended you?
(If you didn’t answer yes to ALL of those questions, I would wonder where you have been the last two years!)
How are you responding?
So, the deal is, we need to make sure in the midst of all the hurt that we are tending to our souls so we can be free.
Last week Dutch Sheets, as part of his daily “Give Him 15” devotional, put out three short messages on forgiveness. Out of the hundreds of Give HIm 15 posts he has published, these have gotten the biggest response.
I urge you to read them. They are 5-6 minute reads and I promise you they will be worth your time.
Click to read or listen to
Friends, as Psalm 119:32 says, we need to be “free to run in the path of His commands, for He has set our hearts free.” One big step from frazzled to fun.