God Wants Me to Forgive
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God Wants Me to Forgive
By Dell Smith Klein
KEY VERSE: “Lord, don’t hold this sin against them.” Acts 7:60
OBJECT: A rock or stone that you can hold in your hand easily.
Sam and Tony were playing in the yard. The ground was dry, and there were lots of dirt clods in the flower bed. At first, they threw the clods at the wooden fence in Tony’s back yard. But then, Tony threw a clod at Sam. Sam got mad and he picked up a rock and threw it at Tony. It hit him hard and hurt a lot.
It hurts to be hit with a rock. (Show rock) Wouldn’t that hurt if someone threw this rock and hit you? (Wait for the children to respond.) We never want to throw rocks at a person, do we? (Let the children respond.) That’s right. Because we know that being hit by a rock would hurt, we don’t want to throw a rock at a person, or an animal.
Our Bible story in Acts tells about a man named Stephen. Stephen worked in the church. He was a kind person who helped others in many ways. One day, though, he said something that made people really mad. They got other people to go with them and they gathered many rocks like this (Show rock again.)
Soon, they began to throw the rocks at Stephen. It hurt a lot when the rocks hit his arms, his legs and his back. He knew he would die if they kept throwing rocks at him, but he did something surprising. Stephen began to pray for the people who were throwing rocks at him.
He prayed, “Lord, don’t hold this sin against them!” (Acts 7:60 WEB) Stephen was praying that God would forgive them.
It is hard to forgive someone who has hurt us. Our friend might do something to us and we get mad. Then we want to do something or say something that will hurt our friend. Sam and Tony felt like that. They were both hurt. They didn’t even want to be friends any more.
Later, after their parents talked with them, they knew they needed to forgive each other. And once they forgave, they became friends again. Oh, and best of all, they stopped throwing rocks at each other, too.
Maybe someone has hurt you. You can forgive that person, too. For just a moment, think about someone who has hurt you – either by words they have said, or by hurting us in another way. (Remain silent for just a brief moment.) Now, let’s pray.
God, we are thinking about something someone did to us that made us sad and maybe even hurt us. We want to forgive that person. Would you help us forgive? Thank you. Amen.
Scripture quotations from the World English Bible
Copyright 2012, Richard Niell Donovan