Are there things people do that you just can’t stand? Maybe it’s how your brother chews his food, or how your friend scratches her head when she thinks. Whatever it is, you always get a little knot in your stomach or a scowl on your face when it happens and everyone can tell you’re unhappy.
Each one of us has something that bothers us or gets on our nerves, and that’s okay. What’s important is how we deal with it. Each time we have the choice to get mad and complain or we can be tolerating. Learning to tolerate things we don’t really like is an important part of being a good friend and working together.
Why don’t we try this experiment to help us understand how to be tolerating. You’ll need a clear glass, a penny, ice cubes, and water. Put the penny and ice cubes in the bottom of the glass. The penny represents us, and the ice represents the things that irritate us. When we focus on ourselves and how irritated we feel, our goal quickly becomes to change the other person for our own comfort. See how close the ice is to the penny? This represents us with irritations crowding in around us and bothering us.
Tolerant people do not think about themselves. They consider others. Pour 1/4 cup water into the glass. Continue to add water, 1/4 cup at a time. Each time water is added, it represents showing love to people who irritate us. We can smile, spend time with them, play together, pray for them, and do many other kind things for them. Watch how the ice is farther and farther away from the penny each time you add water. In the same way, the more love we pour into a relationship, the more distant the irritation becomes. In fact, in time, the irritation may totally melt away.
If so, make me very happy by having the same thoughts, sharing the same love, and having one mind and purpose.
There was once a man that wanted to share the new things he had learned from the Bible with someone. He had just arrived in a new town and didn’t know anyone. He wasn’t sure who would want to hear what he had to say. He decided to ask the postmaster. When he arrived at the post office he asked, “who is the most honest man in town?”
Without hesitation the postmaster said, “David Hewitt.” Everyone knew without a doubt that he was the most honest man around.
“Where does he live?” asked the man. After receiving the instructions, he went straight to Mr. Hewitt’s house. He had arrived in the town early in the morning and when he knocked on Mr. Hewitt’s door his family was just about to sit down for a delicious breakfast. Mr. Hewitt invited the man in for breakfast and later the man shared the new truths he had learned from the Bible.
What if you had lived in that town? Would you have been known as the most honest person around? Let’s be careful that each thing we think and say is truthful so that we can be known as honest people wherever we go.
“Brothers, continue to think about the things that are good and worthy of praise. Think about the things that are true and honorable and right and pure and beautiful and respected.”
Have you ever met someone that seemed to have a smile on their face all the time no matter what was happening? Some people just seem to have happiness and joy that spills out of them. Did you know that otters are animals that are known for being happy and loving to have fun? Otters have fun even when doing their work.
Otters eat a number of different things including mussels, clams, crabs, and abalones. They make cracking open the strong mussel shells into a fun challenge. Another of their favorite things to do is to play on water slides. They often make large rocks into water slides but they’ll make about anything they can into a slide. Otters also love to play with each other and hold hands with each other while they float in the water.
Just like the otters, Jesus wants us to have fun and praise Him all throughout the day. He doesn’t want us to be sad. Next time you’re feeling down, why don’t you think of the otters playing in the water and having fun doing their work and say a big thank you to Jesus for everything He’s done for you.
Clap your hands, all you people.
Shout to God with joy.
Psalm 47: 1
Watching a potter make a pot is quite amazing. They carefully squeeze just the right part of the clay and then place their hand in another place on the clay and slowly it changes from a lump of clay to a beautiful masterpiece. If you’ve ever seen a potter working you’ll know that they make it look super easy but molding straight, beautiful pots actually takes a lot of skill.
Have you ever wondered why the clay doesn’t scream or shout because it doesn’t want to be a tall pot or because it wants to be a bowl instead of a vase? Of course not! Because clay is flexible. It easily molds to whatever shape the potter makes it into. Just like the clay is flexible sometimes we have to be flexible too. Sometimes things don’t turn out the way we want them to but we shouldn’t scream or complain. We should be flexible and happily follow God’s plan.
To help you remember to be flexible, why not make some play-dough and feel how
flexible it is.
You will need:
1 cup flour
1/4 cup salt
1/2 cup water
3-5 drops of food coloring
Here’s how to do it:
First, mix the flour and salt together in a bowl. Next, add the water and stir it up. If it’s too sticky try adding a little bit of flour and you should be good to go. While you play with it, remember to be flexible and to let God change you to be like Him today.
Dear friends, now we are children of God. We have not yet been shown what we will be in the future. But we know that when Christ comes again, we will be like him.
1 John 3:2
Have you ever climbed to the top of a lighthouse or walked around one and wondered why it was there? The purpose of a lighthouse is so that boats know where the rocks are and won’t run into them. This is really important because it can be hard to see from a boat in the storm. At each lighthouse, there is a person who is responsible for making sure the light was on all the time.
There was once a girl that lived with her father, his job was to keep the lamp in the lighthouse burning. One beautiful sunny day, her father decided to get some groceries from the town nearby. The girl was to stay home and make sure the lamp was shining in the lighthouse. Every few hours she would climb to the top of the lighthouse and add some oil to the lamp so that it would keep burning.
Then, out of nowhere, a huge storm blew in. Huge waves began splashing all around the lighthouse. It was time for her to add oil to the lamp but she had to walk through the storm to the lighthouse tower. She knew if she didn’t get there soon the light would go out and sailors could easily be destroyed by rocks on the shore. Even though the waves were massive and the wind shrieked through the house, she put her coat on and headed to the lighthouse. When she opened the door, a huge gust of wind almost knocked her over but she pushed through the wind till she made it to the lighthouse. Safely inside the lighthouse, she ran up the stairs to find that she had made it just in time as the last few drops of oil were about to be used up. When her father got back from town he was very proud of her for keeping the light shining in the lighthouse even through the terrible storm.
I doubt that you have the responsibility of keeping a lamp burning in a lighthouse everyday but I’m sure you have responsibilities just the same. No matter how big or small your jobs are it is important to be responsible so that people can always trust and rely on us.
“Whoever can be trusted with small things can also be trusted with large things.” Luke 16:10
Have you ever noticed that bugs seem to gather around light? If you’re out in the dark you may have been just fine until you turn on a flashlight and after a few minutes there are moths and other bugs flying all around. What exactly makes the bugs come to the light? Is it to keep warm or to see better? No one is exactly sure but watch this video to see some ideas.
Some insects are attracted to light because they use the light from the moon to direct them like a compass. When they see the light they think that it is the moon and fly towards it. But if the light is coming from one of those handy zapper machines they have made a bad mistake.
We know that our goal is to follow Jesus and to do what makes Him happy. If we keep heading towards Him we’ll be safe but sometimes we have to watch out for distractions. Let’s not let anything confuse us from choosing to do things that make Jesus happy today.
One of my favorite road trip games is the alphabet game where you look for each letter of the alphabet starting at A all the way to Z. You can find the letters on any road signs or sometimes license plates on cars. The first person to get to Z wins! Some letters are harder to find than others like the letters X and Z. But the letter Y is never too hard because of the YIELD sign. Have you ever stopped to think about what the word yield means?
The word yield actually means to give up or give in. I’m sure you’ve had at least one person tell you to never give up. Why would there be a sign telling people to give up? Well, imagine what it would be like if no one ever stopped or gave up for a moment to let other people go. You would end up with a huge traffic jam because everyone would be trying to get to the same place at the same time. That’s exactly what a yield sign is for. It reminds drivers to slow down and check if there’s someone else that they should allow to go first.
Sometimes I think we need yield signs in more places than just the road. Often we need a quick reminder to yield for a second and see if there’s anyone else that needs to go first, when we’re eating at the table, waiting in a line, or even when we’re talking. Why don’t we all take a moment today to see if there’s anyone we can yield for and let them go first. And don’t forget to play the alphabet game next time you’re on a road trip too.
“When you do things, do not let selfishness or pride be your guide. Be humble and give more honor to others than to yourselves. Do not be interested only in your own life, but be interested in the lives of others.” Philippians 2:3-4