EDITOR’S NOTE: This column features lessons and sermons for children from Annette Dammer’s book “Ready, Set, Go!”
We often remember a slight or an insult above all that others do or say.
Prepare the stuff above.
Pray about the message. Do you remember to forget? I struggle with it.
Colossians 3:13 — “Even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.”
I am so forgetful. I write everything I have to do on this calendar: when it’s my turn to bring a dessert to church, an appointment at the doctor’s office, even when I promise to call someone to see how they’re doing. Birthdays, holidays — it all goes in here. I don’t even know what day Easter is this year, do you? (Personalize this.)
And if I’m not near the calendar and something important pops up, I write it on my hand. See? And I stick these things (hold up a messy pile of Post-Its) all over my computer to remember things. It looks like a big puzzle. Ha! Sometimes it is!
What types of things do you forget? (Pause.)
Me, too! I forget to take out the trash. I used to stay up late and do all my homework and then leave it on the counter at home. Big zero! Ouch!
How about when you’re angry with someone — do you forget that? You know, like a friend borrows a special game or video and forgets to give it back? Maybe they won’t share, or say something mean, mean, mean and later apologizes. Do you forget the insult, or does it keep coming back to you and get in the way of the good times?
Sometimes I don’t know how to forget those things. I’m working on it, but sometimes even when I’ve decided to forgive them, even when I promise God that I forgive them, sometimes I really don’t. Oh, I’m OK for a while. Kind. Sweet. We’re friends. But then something else happens and I pull my resentment back out and hold it against them, kind of like this mirror. (Hold the mirror up. Make sure the reflection faces you.)
Only the mirror doesn’t really reflect them. It reflects me. That’s right! It only shows me. Just like my resentment. It only shows that I never really forgave them. That I’m saving that stuff up for the next time I need it. You know, to throw back at them later.
Does it keep me safe, make me better, or save me the next time I do something stinky or mean? Something inside of me thinks it will help me, but God knows better. He wants more for me.
I want us all to learn to forget. Really forget. And the next time I try to hold one little event against a person, I want to remember something good they did instead.
Hey, maybe I need a Post-It note for that!
OK, let’s pray. Father, help me to remember to forget the bad. And could You help us to remember our homework and to take out the trash, too? Amen!
Annette Dammer is a columnist, teacher, former children’s minister and author of the book “Ready, Set, Go! A Year of Object Lessons.” This column includes lessons from her book.