(this object lesson has been floating around in Christian circles for many years) Object Lesson Idea: What we say can hurt others and hurt ourselves. This is a well known toothpaste tube object lesson about being careful about what we say to others. Once we say something we can’t take those words back. It’s like trying to get toothpaste back in the tube after it has been squeezed out.
Objects needed: Toothpaste tube (and a toothbrush)
Full Children’s Object Lesson:
Good Morning Children. What are some of the things you do when you get up in the morning? After having breakfast what do you do to make sure your teeth are nice and clean? That’s right, you brush your teeth! I brought my toothpaste and toothbrush along this morning because it can help explain something that Jesus taught. Two of the bible readings that we have today (James ch.1 & Mark ch7) talk about being careful what we say to others. Without thinking we can say things to another person that really hurts them. After saying something hurtful or mean we might realize what we have done and we would like to take those words back – but it’s too late. Once we have said something to another person we can’t take those words back. It is like this toothpaste tube. Sometimes I squeeze far too much toothpaste out of the tube (demonstrate). You can try to put it back in (demonstrate) but it just doesn’t work. It just makes a mess. Once the toothpaste is out of the tube it is too late to put it back in. Saying an unkind word to another person is pretty easy to do. It is as easy as squeezing this toothpaste out of a tube. We would like to take those words back but we can’t get them back. (You could get the children to say something and then to try to grab those words in the air and put them back in their mouths. It doesn’t work.) Perhaps you have had someone say unkind words to you and you know how that feels. Always make sure your words won’t hurt another person because once you have spoken those words it’s too late to take them back. Tomorrow morning when you squeeze the toothpaste out of the tube remember this lesson and do your best to speak kind words to whoever you talk to during the day.
Children's Prayer: Dear God, we know that our words can bless others or hurt others. We know that we can’t get our words back once we have spoken them so help us, through your Holy Spirit, to make sure our words are always spoken in love. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.